To be honest, I had no idea what picadillo was until we were invited to a birthday celebration for a friend at the home of his wife’s family. However, knowing what I know about Mrs. A, I knew it would be good. Great, in fact. Not only is Mrs. A a wonderful person, she is also a down-right fantastic cook. I knew we were in good hands.
You see, Mr and Mrs. A are both Cuban. Though they have been in this country for over 50 years, their home is rich with Cuban culture and warmth. Their daughter, a former Broadway actress, who is now a successful jewelry designer even named her business Jewel of Havana because of her parents’ deep Cuban roots.
Picadillo is sort of like chili, without the chili powder and with a few interesting ingredients thrown in for added flavor. There are also many different types that vary widely depending on the country. Most of them are in Latin countries, with the exception of the Philippines. The name comes from the Spanish word “picar,” meaning to mince or to chop. That makes sense because everything is all chopped up.