Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban food which literally means old clothes. Here are no strong indications for the clear origin of this famous dish of Cuba but it is believed that in ancient times a poor man of Canary Islands cooked his old clothes to feed his hungry children. His act was so much filled with affection that the dish was transformed into amazing and delicious beef stew.
Whoever is the inventor of Ropa Vieja, this delicious food promises a lip smacking pleasure to the eater. How Ropa Vieja became so much favorite in Latin American region is also quite interesting. Due to Spanish cultural influence on Caribbean and Cubans and heavy immigration of Spanish people in these parts of the world, Ropa Vieja got immense popularity. Originally, Ropa Vieja contained leftovers, but later became a shredded beef dish with chickpeas and potatoes in Canary Islands. Some of its kinds are also cooked with chicken and other forms of meat. The typical Ropa Vieja of Cuba is not prepared with garbanzo beans or potatoes rather it is just the shredded meat in sauce. Ropa Vieja has the national significance in Cuban cuisine.
Normally the Cuban Ropa Vieja is prepared by slowly braising up the beef to a day in advance. When the meat is cooked , it is further fragmented and then again cooked with spices like cumin and oregano, tomato sauce, paste or fresh tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and sometimes olives or pimentos. Sometimes Cuban Ropa Vieja is also embellished with pimentos and served with rice, or hot tortillas, chopped cilantro and sour cream. And some people like it in the conventional Spanish style rice and black beans.
Ropa Vieja is equally popular in the whole Latin American region. Like in Venezuela Ropa Vieja is a part of the Venezuelan national dish, pabellón criollo.