Latin American cuisine is full of surprises, and Picadillo is one of them.
Picadillo is made with ground beef, tomatoes, carrots and other ingredients that change depending on the country. But as it often happens with great dishes, the whole is greater that the sum of its parts, as we will see.
If this is your introduction to Picadillo, keep reading and join this kaleidoscopic journey of flavors.If you are already familiar with it, come with us, and learn some surprising facts about the history of Picadillo and its place in world cuisine.
An Expressive Name
“Picadillo” is the diminutive form of “chopped” or “ground” in Spanish. This expressive name gives away the main characteristic of Picadillo, since finely ground meat is its most important ingredient. In fact, every country changes the Picadillo recipe to adjust it to local tastes. But ground meat is always there, and one may argue that it’s the essence of the dish. If it doesn’t have finely ground meat, then it’s not Picadillo.
Beloved in Latin America and the Philippines
Picadillo is beloved in all Latin America. From Mexico to Argentina each country has its own recipe, and the different versions vary ever so slightly, although those small changes give Picadillo an unmistakable local flavor. The dish is also popular across the Pacific Ocean, in the Philippines, where is also known as Giniling, the Tagalog word for ground meat.
Picadillo is the gastronomical version of a chameleon. It changes depending on its surroundings, but it always stays the same. In Mexico Picadillo is more straigtforward and spicy, reflecting local tastes. In tropical countries it becomes more elaborate, with the addition of raisins, fried bananas and fried eggs.
It Has a Musical Theme
Appreciation for Picadillo in Latin America is such, that it inspired a musical composition. The composer was no other than percussion maestro Tito Puente. The instrumental composition evokes the playful, ever-changing character of Picadillo and celebrates its ties with Latin America. Try listening to the piece while you enjoy your Picadillo to enrich your culinary experience.
Picadillo is part of Chef Gourmet’s amazing array of delicious, healthy gourmet-prepared meals. We exist to provide excellence at the intersection where imagination and passion for culinary arts come together.
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