While America has long been called a melting pot, one city stands out as an executive of a wide array of different cultures coming together to create something unique, beautiful, and delicious. That city is Miami. Miami’s unique population of Caribbean, Cuban, and Latino residents has created a melting pot of cultural significance. From the art to the music, there is always something alive within the city. Most recognizable for its cultural mix, though, is the Miami food scene.
Miami has a large amount of staples in the food industry and is one of the places you can find some of the most origin-specific, authentic food in the country. In addition, because of the large mix of cultures, there is an ongoing rise in the amount of blended foods, often called fusion foods. Cuban-American fusion, Caribbean-Puerto Rican fusion, and much more. This blend of dishes that incorporate the staples from each place has created a unique flavor palate that many locals refer to as Miami flavor.
The Miami flavor is a mixture of spices created by mixing a bunch of cultures together to create a sort of super spice, and ‘spice’ is the operative word. The feature that stands out the most in any traditional Miami dish is the spiciness of it. When separated out, every homeland culture incorporates some heat into their food. The use of peppers cannot be understated. That alone cannot make the spice blend, so different spices are added, as well, including garlic, cumin, and more.
One of the largest spice companies in the country, fighting alongside spice giants like McCormick, is Badia Spices. Badia has been credited as the spice king of Miami and has helped shape flavors not only in America, but in Cuba, Ghana, and other places around the world. As far back as the 1960’s, visitors to Miami would take his blended spice packets back to Cuba and other nations with them. It was referred to as Miami spice and became so integrated within the original cultures that there are now entire generations that have had the same food with the same flavor, whether they are in Cuba or Miami.