Cuban food is delicious and flavorful blend of Spanish, Native American, African, and Caribbean cuisines that, like most Latin American cuisines, isn’t particularly spicy, but can be made spicier with some hot sauce at any paladares (privately-owned restaurants). Better still, the price at these restaurants for the quality food you get is very enticing: the average plate is much cheaper than at state-owned restaurants, coming in at around $3-$10 per plate. Portions are also often very large and perfect for sharing with your family, friends, and other travel companions.
Have you been considering a trip to Cuba and wanted to learn more about the cuisine before you go? Here are 9 excellent Cuban meals to get your mouth watering:
You can think of pulpeta like a Cuban spin on meatloaf. It’s well-seasoned mincemeat and ham mixed together with hard-boiled eggs stuffed inside. Rather than baking, pulpeta is generally cooked on the stove.
- Ropa vieja
Ropa vieja (lit. “old clothes”) is the national dish of Cuba, which is interesting considering beef isn’t terribly common in Cuba outside of resorts and restaurants that cater to tourists. This heart stew is filled with tomatoes, onions, and tender beef chunks that slowly cooked until they are easily shredded.
Cuban paella is much like its Spanish cousin in composition, with its saffron rice, meats, and seafood cooked in a large, shallow pan, and is often filled with ham, chorizo, chicken, shrimp, lobster, scallops, and mussels.
Ajiaco is another wonderfully hearty stew that has everything but the kitchen sink! This delicious Cuban stew has a little something for everyone: pumpkin, potatoes, plantains, corn, malanga, meats, spices, tomato paste, lemon juice, and even beer to add depth of flavor.
- Corn on the cob
Cuba’s take on corn on the cob is both simple and delicious. First, the corn cobs are grilled before being rolled in mouthwatering cotija cheese, sprinkled with chili powder and garnished with a few drops of lime juice.
Tostones are one of those foods that are found all throughout the Caribbean under different names depending where you are. This addictive dish is made using thick slices of plantains which are fried, pressed on to form something closer to a patty, and then fried again.
This dish, simply rice and black beans cooked with garlic, oil, and spices, is found with pretty much any authentic cocina criolla (lit. “Creole cooking”), and is also referred to as moros y cristianos. It’s a delightful and satisfying dish with heart protein and flavorful rice that is the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.
- Arroz con leche
Arroz con leche is a simple yet satisfying rice pudding made with rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon that is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. The soft, sweet, creamy texture hits every high note a dessert should have.
- Cazuela de plátano
This decadent dessert is made with bananas, raisins, pecans, butter, and brown sugar, and is an excellent dessert for lactose intolerant travelers. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, buttery, smooth and crisp to satisfy any sweet tooth.
If you’re hungry to try some amazing Cuban paladares, you’re going to need a passport and visa first. Fortunately, we can help you get both quickly and easily. Contact Texas Tower Houston at 713-874-1420 and we will always be ready to assist you with your passport and visa needs. For more information on what you need to get a Cuba visa, this article can help.