Ajiaco copper

Ajiaco copper . Cuban typical dish . It was very frequent at the table of the Cuban family . It has a special identity value, since it came to symbolize a metaphor for the formation of the Cuban people and food par excellence.


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  • 1 The voice Ajiaco
  • 2 Ingredients and preparation
  • 3 Fernando Ortiz and the Ajiaco
  • 4 Sources

The Ajiaco voice

According to some lexicographers the ajiaco voice is of aboriginal origin . Alfredo Zayas in his: Lexicografía Antillana says: “Without a doubt this word comes from the word ají , designator of the condiment that the Indians used for their delicacies, and is still used for ajiaco. We cannot assure that the Indians used this voice, but it is probable that they named the water saturated with hot chili , where, according to what the authors say, they dipped the casabe to eat it.

Ingredients and preparation

Cuban ajiaco takes the following ingredients: meat of pork mass, needles and bones pork, beef jerky and all the viands . To do this you need a large pot or saucepan. The pork bones, the needles, the dough and the jerky, which have previously been removed from the salt, are made. When the broth has boiled enough and has foamed, add the viands and the corn broken into pieces. Meats should be added in the following order: cassava , corn, and taro, which take the longest to soften; then the green bananas, thepumpkin (in a small proportion), potatoes , finally sweet potatoes and ripe bananas and pintons, which must be cooked separately and added at the time of serving. All ingredients must be well covered by water .

It is made, in butter, a mojo, with onion , garlic , tomato , parsley and chili and is added to the ajiaco. Season with salt, pepper and green lemon . Pumpkin and taro must be pounded in a mortar and thus curdle the broth. Can be colored with saffron. Fernando Ortiz in his new catauro of Cubanisms, made some clarifications to the definition given by the Academia del ajiaco. The great Cuban scholar says that: the ajiaco does not add any kind of “fruits that are raised in pods”, so in the academic definition, vegetables should be changed for vegetables, to gain precision and clarity. And he adds that it would be better to say meats in the plural, because the ajiaco includes fresh meat and cooked meat or beef, and beef, and pork, and even chicken .

Fernando Ortiz and the Ajiaco

The great Cuban ethnologist and sociologist Fernando Ortiz , elaborated a very effective metaphor on the origin of Cubanity from the ajiaco. In one of his texts he asked himself: “What is ajiaco? It is the most typical and most complex stew, made of various species of legumes, that here we say “viands”, and of various pieces of meat; all of which is cooked with boiling water until a very thick and succulent broth is produced and seasoned with the very Cuban chili pepper that gives it its name. The ajiaco was the typical stew of the Taíno Indians, like all primitive peoples when, when going from the merely extractive and nomadic economy to the sedentary and agricultural economy, they learned to cook food in saucepans on fire. ”Later, the Cuban sage He explains: The image of the Creole ajiaco symbolizes well the formation of the Cuban people.

Let’s follow the metaphor. First of all an open casserole. That is Cuba , the island, the pot placed on the fire of the tropics (…). Unique casserole that of our land, like that of our ajiaco, which must be made of clay and very open. Then fire of burning flame and fire of ember and slow to divide the cooking in two; just as it happens in Cuba, always on fire with the sun but with the rhythm of two seasons, rainand dry, warm and temperate. There go the substances of the most diverse genres and origins. ” In this beautiful, graphic and useful image to understand the evolution of the Cuban nation, the polygraph warns that: “(…) Cubanness is not only in the result but also in the very complex process of its formation, disintegrative and integrative, in the substantial elements entered into its action, the environment in which it operates and the vicissitudes of its course.


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