“The best part about living in Miami is that you’re so close to the United States,” is a joke that I have often heard about my hometown. It is true, Miami is a cultural melting pot because people from all over the world, Latin America in particular, have settled here. There are times when I run around town and hear little to no English being spoken: when that happens the aforementioned joke rings true. Aside from their languages, the people from other countries who have moved here have also brought their own traditions, and the Christmas pig roast is one that I particularly enjoy.
In many Latin countries, particularly Cuba, it is customary to roast a pig for Nochebuena (Christmas Eve). This is a family affair where generations gather to first marinate the meat, place it in the Caja China or other grill, and then prepare the rest of the meal as it roasts. It is a festive occasion that is a great excuse to gather with family and friends, reflect on years past, prepare for the future, and even play dominoes!
Although the holiday pig roast began as a Latin custom, I think it is safe to say that it is now a Miami-wide institution. A few years ago I actually remember the local news reporting that the smoky haze across the city was making driving conditions difficult. That tells you just how many fires are lit down here each Christmas Eve.
As I said before, I like the pig roast and will be having one at my own Christmas party. Is this beloved Miami custom part of your holiday too?
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