If you are interested in visiting Cuba or perhaps you just got back from the island, one of the most memorable parts of a Cuban adventure is the food. Cuban cuisine is a unique combination of influences that create a fusion of exotic, delicious flavors.
Cuban food is influenced by the indigenous people, West-African, and Europeans. This Caribbean cultural mixture is known criolla or Creole and not only defines people groups and customs but also defines the kind of food you will eat in Cuba.
In Cuba, common comida criolla includes dishes like rice and beans with roasted or fried chicken or even a Cuban take on Spanish tapas with croquettes and “tortillas” (an egg dish.) You’ll also enjoy starchy accompaniments yucca and plantains prepared a variety of ways. There are many dimensions to Cuban food, but we’ve narrowed down a few recipes you can start with in the comfort of your own home.
Don’t let the exotic name fool you, is a Cuban version of a simple dish: rice and beans. It’s sometimes playfully referred to as y , due to the contrasting black beans and white rice in the dish.
This recipe features both rice and black beans mixed together for a dryer starch combination suitable for most any palate. In Cuba, it’s a staple that is usually paired with a chicken or pork meat option that you can find at almost any Cuban paladar.
Here’s a congri recipe to try yourself at home. Don’t forget to add all the herbs and spices, it will make a huge difference!
One of my favorite Cuban foods, , can be made a variety of ways: with chicken, ham or even fish. It’s rumored to have come from the Spanish tapas tradition even though it has a down-home, comfort-food feel to it.
On top of being tasty, are perhaps one of the simplest Cuban dishes you can make at home. You’ll simply mince your preferred meat, mix it with breadcrumbs and herbs and pan-fry it in olive oil. Of course there are a few more specifics, but you get the gist.
Here’s a recipe for Cuban ham croquettes to try in your own kitchen.
Yucca with Garlic Sauce
If you visit any Cuban paladar or street food kiosk, you’ll see something on the menu called . It’s a catch all terms for any type of tuber that would be available at the time. Like , it’ll likely be served alongside your main meat option.
More than likely, you’ll be eating yucca with a garlicky mojo sauce. The dish is called con mojo and it’s really divine. Sometimes, the sauce is ladled right over the vegetable and sometimes it’s blended all together for a heavenly mashed-potato like texture. Either way, you’ll enjoy it.
Check out this yucca with garlic sauce recipe to get going.
Enjoying Cuban Food in Cuba
Once you’ve enjoyed as much Cuba as you possibly can from home, consider enjoying Cuba in Cuba!