Something I never really thought about but I do almost anytime I go to Publix in the middle of the day when I haven’t had lunch yet and I’m too hungry to wait until I get home — I always buy some croquetas from the Publix bakery.
SIDE NOTE: For you gringos a croqueta is a fried breaded cylinder usually containing ham inside and some other stuff too. I’ve heard someone call it a fritter before. They can also be filled with chicken, fish, cheese, chorizo, mac & cheese and all sorts of crazy stuff. I would call it the Cuban cousin to the Italian Mozzarella stick.
I’ve always been a ham croqueta person. Ham is the original. If you order a croqueta anywhere you will 99% of the time be given a ham croqueta, no questions asked. If the establishment you are at has chicken, fish, cheese or other types of croquetas they will either ask you, “What type of croqueta?” or you will have to specify, “I want a croqueta de pollo.” (Spanish for chicken croqueta).
What I do at Publix bakery to make my mid-day snack into a fun game is I usually order a few original croquetas (aka HAM) and one of either chicken or cheese (sometimes one of each). They all get thrown into the same bag and since all croquetas look about the same from the outside, it’s a fun guessing game.
The Publix bakery person usually tries to separate them with some fancy bakery paper, but that doesn’t really work because they are getting tossed around all over the bag. Also, I’m going to eat these while driving so I will not look in the bag to see how they are separated.
So, once I leave Publix and I’m driving home or to my next destination I get to play a little game I call CROQUETA ROULETTE. I stick my hand in the bag and grab one at a time. Next, I take a bite not really thinking about what’s going to be inside and I’m surprised each time.
Yesterday I ate the cheese one first. I had ordered three ham and one cheese, so the game ended on that first bite. It was still was and always is a delicious game to play.
So, the next time you find yourself at Publix (if you’re in Florida) order some croquetas (if you’re in South Florida), and play a round of CROQUETA ROULETTE (if you’re in the car).
You won’t regret it. If you’re not in Florida, find some kind of dumpling place that will let you order single dumplings and try DUMPLING ROULETTE. Maybe a FILLED DONUT ROULETTE. There are many ways to play this game.