Ropa vieja (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈro.pa ˈβje.xa]; "old clothes") is a dish with regional variations in Latin America, the Philippines, and Spain. It normally includes some form of stewed beef and tomatoes with a sofrito base. Originating in Spain, it is known today as one of the national dishes of Cuba. The name ropa vieja probably originates from the fact that it was often prepared using food left over from other meals.
The dish's origins appear to have first arisen among the Sephardic Jews of the Iberian Peninsula, as a slow-cooked stew that was prepared to be eaten over the course of a traditionally observed Shabbat, a kind of cholent called "handrajos" (similar to the Spanish word "andrajos"). Eventually this dish spread to North Africa and to the Canary Islands of Spain.
The dish is believed to have been brought to the Americas by immigrants from the Canary Islands and was first reported to have been cooked in Cuba in 1857, but today is well known as a Cuban national dish.
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