Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Galleta Cubana Con Dulce Guayaba y Queso (Cuban Crackers with Guava and Cheese)

I was wondering if I should even post this (it is ridiculously simple, but trust me we have simpler snacks and sweets than this ha ha) but any who I'm here to share, and that's what I'll do, who knows maybe some other people have seen "Galletas Cubanas" (Cuban crackers) and never bought them because they don't know what to do with them. I decided to blog about them when I got home from school (hungry) and ate a mountain of white rice with cuban "Albondigas Con Salsa de Tomate" and a salad, but then my sweet tooth kicked in (like always) and there was a bag of these sitting on the counter and I had everything on hand thus I said to myself, "Why not take a picture of this simple joy and share it"

Cuban crackers hmmm... let see how I can describe them... well they are not salty, very plain, yet buttery, thick/ sturdy, crunchy but somehow easily breaks, feel's sort of powdery to. It's hard for me to describe, it makes a really good bed for different spreads or just ham with cheese, or ham with cream cheese, even for a deviled ham dip (yes Cubans make deviled ham dips that will be left up to another post) BUT in this post I will show it with guava paste and cream cheese. I don't know any Cuban that doesn't love Guava paste especially paired with a cheese in any shape way or form, as Marilyn from "My Cuban Traumas" once told me, "Nos corre la Guayaba por la sangre" (translates to, "Guava runs through our vains")

I love them, but not all "Galletas Cubanas" are created equally, from experience I have bought pre-packaged one's that are "Faraon" they tend to be really old, they are almost chewy? Cuban crackers are not suppose to be chewy or flexible or thin like the "Faraon" brand one's...

The one's I buy come from "Portos Bakery" which here in Southern California is a very reputable well known Cuban bakery, and is the only good Cuban bakery in California in my opinion. They have the authentic fresh made Cuban bread, the pastries, etc., my family goes there usually from Sunday brunch, we order an assortment Pastelito's de Guayaba (Guava Strudels), Pastelitos de Carne (Cuban Meat Pies stuffed with ground beef), and Cuban Sandwiches and Medianoches to drink we usually get "Batidos" (different types of shakes Guava, Mango, etc) or our Cafe Cubano.

I don't live to far from Portos but not close enough either, luckily I have a little "Bodeguita" near me (a small store, it carries many Cuban products) and they get their "Galleta's Cubanas" from Portos Bakery delivered. The bag has no labels or names only the Portos logo, they sell quickly there and are delicious and fresh. Although they can last up to 3 weeks or more.

-Galleta Cubana (Cuban Cracker)
-Philidalphia Cream Cheese
-Guava paste (the best one's are from flat, round, tin cans, I use "Goya" brand)
(1)Grab 1 Galleta, spread generous amounts of cream cheese on it.
(2)Top with a pair of thick slices of guava paste.
(3)Repeat process to make more. Then enjoy! Simple I know :)

(4)These make really good finger foods at parties, usually in our gatherings at home we have big plates full of a bunch of these and they finish quickly.


(1)Frituritas de Guayaba

(2)Cascos de Guayaba y Refresco de Guayaba (Guava shells in Syrup and Guava drink)

(3)Guayaba en Almibar (whole Guava in syrup)

P.S. (not important just me rambling)

Cuban crackers in Spanish is called "Galleta Cubanas". Although "Galleta" directly translates to cookie, but it can also mean "cracker" depending how it's used (there is no word for crackers in spanish, we combine the name "cookie" with other words to refer to it, like saltine crackers we call it "Galletas Saladas" translates to "salty cookie"

In "cuban" spanish (maybe in other countries spanish to) Galleta can also mean "slap" for example, "Te voy a dar una galleta" it can mean "I am going to slap you" or "I am gonna give you a cookie" depending on the tone. If you wanna emphasize the "slapping" making it sound like a super hard angry slap and just wanna sound big you can call it a "Galletazo" for example in this context it will always mean slap, specifically a big hard slap, "Te voy a romper la boca de un galletazo chico!" english equivalent, "Boy, I'm gonna break your mouth with one big @$$ slap" okay enough of that, just thought it would be interesting to share. (Cuban spanish can be very different in word usage and pronaunciation, we tend to skip "s" and "r" in words and shorten things, etc. it's more similar to the Spanish of Spain's "Canary Islands")


Núria said...

I loved the last paragraph Nathan!!! Yeah galleta means bofetón or slap as you say and in Catalan it would be Bolet (mushroom): nen, et donaré un bolet! Boy I will give you a mushroom! Isn't it funny how language goes?

No cheese for me this time Nathan. But, your blog is becoming estupendo y fantástico :D :D :D

Joan Nova said...

Nathan - You may not get too many comments from this because as you said 'it's simple"...but what a lot of people don't know is how delicious it is. I've served it as an appetizer with a few toasted almonds on top, I've even put it on a toast cracker and put it on the grill! I think I'm going to make myself one right now!

Mamey said...

Hey...agree with you totally re. Porto's, both in terms of all its products and specifically its crackers. Back in Cuba the 'cracker-guava paste-cheese combination' had variations: sometimes with gouda cheese (just called 'queso holandes') or with 'country cheese,' a simple salty white cheese from the countryside. Also we would have 'galleticas preparadas' which were made with either Cuban crackers or soda crackers, and essentially were little sandwiches with ham and cheese and sometimes other ingredients ('pastica de bonito' or tuna paste).

Nathan said...

Haha I forgot about "bofeton" to. Haha I had no idea slap was mushroom in Catalan LOL. yeah it can get really funny when literally and directly translating languages.

Nuria how come you don't cheese? There's plenty variety maybe someday you'll find the right cheese for you lol. j/k. :D

Joan Nova,
I know people sometimes think, "eew gross guava and cheese your crazy" but it's actually really deliciouS simple.

YEah sometimes we do it with regular cheese, in my house we really like to pair it with "Monterrey Jack". I learned about the Gouda from other Cubans who like it. You know I heard in Cuba of today only Gouda is available, must be Fidels favorite cheese lol.

Have you ever tried "Pan Con Timba" haha it's Cuban bread with cream cheese spread on it, and thick slices of guava paste, then pressed, I think it's a funny name I have no idea why my grandma calls it that.

Bren said...

ay Dios mio. u just took me way back. I haven't had this in a looong time. and yes, this is way simple. no work needed at all, really. Joan Nova, Im so impressed at how much of our food you've had! i love that about you!

Omar said...

Yeah, pan con timba is the popular name. I don't know the origin either. In Cuba we had 'pastelitos de matahambre' (hunger killers)which were like the guava ones, only with whatever was left over in the bakery's work table. They were delicious and sold for a penny or two. They usually sold them in the late afternoon.

Tuyen Travis said...

I've never heard of pan con timba, Nathan you'll have to show me it sometime. However, this snack was delicious when you made it for me last night! You're going to have to split some of the Cuban crackers I gave to you with me and cut me a hunk of guava paste and scoop some cream cheese to take home so I can snack on it when I have my cravings because I want it really badly right now!

Hey, is guava paste available in Vallarta supermarkets as well or the only place you know that has it is La Chiquita market?

Nathan said...

Some Vallarta's have it some don't I don't remember which one does :( but I know it's more expensive in Vallarta anyway than at "La Chiquita Market"

Chris H. said...

Hi Nathan,
I couldn't agree more. I LOVE the cuban crackers from Porto's. I didn't even know about the place was a cuban bakery. I went there to buy a cuban cake (delicious brady cake with custard filling... oh man.. we used to have cuban cake for my birthday every year when I was a kid! SOOO good!)
But then I spotted the galletas.. I've been eating them ever since. The best! Mi abuela used to eat them with butter.

Letimusik said...

Hi Nathan,
I really enjoyed reading your blog, and, as you mention, we Cubans have the guava in our blood. When I was little in Cuba, I used to hate it while my sister loved anything with guayaba. I always preferred mango paste or mermelada. Now, as an adult, and living in Los Angeles, I love it soooo much, especially the galletas con guayaba y queso crema, but instead of putting the guava paste on top, I spread the cheese over the guava. That way it is not that sweet. The cheese neutralizes the sweetness a little bit. In my opinion, it is more delicious, especially for people who don’t like things too sweet.

Nathan said...

I'll try it your way next time :) OMG the guava paste and cream cheese is sooo good on those "Ritz Crackers" how about that for a Cuban-American treat haha.

Gary said...

Gary said
My company has a line of all natural Guava jelly,Marmalade,and Guava Paste.We just presented it to Portos,they said it was the best Guava they tasted.They have started with the guava marmalade,and now will be testing the Jelly.Tropicana also placed an order with us.For more information contact me 310-488-5561