In 2018, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez officially acknowledged the area's obsession with croquetas by naming October 1 "Croqueta Day."
The occasion also observed the fact that local Cuban restaurant chain Sergio's had sold more than 20 million croquetas.
Fast-forward two years, and, thanks to a marketing campaign from Islas Canarias, Miamians can now proudly proclaim they live in "Croqueta County." (Fittingly, the campaign also celebrates a croqueta milestone: Islas Canarias has been selling croquetas for more than 40 years.)
Opened in 1977 by Raul and Amelia Garcia, Islas Canarias (13695 SW 26th St., Miami; 305-559-6666) quickly became known for its croquetas, prepared from a secret family recipe. The restaurant, now run by the Raul and Amelia's daughter Nancy Andrade and her husband Luis, continue to make croquetas from that same recipe.
The croqueta legacy has come full circle, with Raul and Amelia's grandchildren, Eileen and Jonathan Andrade, serving croqueta-based dishes at their restaurants, Finka Table & Tap and Amelia's 1931.
If you want to become a resident of Croqueta County Islas Canarias-style, you can do so at the croquetacounty.com website, where you can also download Croqueta County-branded screensavers or buy a T-shirt ($15). We're told that masks will be available in the near future.
If you have a more nontraditional love affair with croquetas, Dos Croquetas (10505 SW 40th St., Miami; 305-912-3672) offers a few exciting additions to its menu. The Flamin' Hot Cheetos Chicken croqueta ($1.99) is made with chicken, roasted japapeño, and a cheddar/jack cheese blend and coated in, yes, Flamin' Hot Cheetos.
There's also a café con leche croqueta ($2.29) made with Cuban coffee-infused cheesecake. Dos Croquetas co-owner Alec Fernandez describes it as "warm and creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside."
Finally, Dos Croquetas is offering a limited edition Cu-Bánh-Mi sandwich ($8.50) made with smoked ham, sliced roast pork, pickled carrots and daikon radish, crisp cucumbers, topped with fresh cilantro, papitas, and chili crisp aioli.
Those on a budget may want to drop in to any Cao Bakery & Cafe tomorrow and ask for a mini croqueta preparada slider — it's free with any purchase while supplies last (on October 1 only).
Finally, if COVID-19 is keeping a friend or family member from visiting Miami, consider sending them some croqueta love: Goldbelly will deliver a special limited-edition Croqueta Day box that includes ham, chicken, and spinach croquetas, along with condiments and a limited-edition face mask ($89).
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