Cuba for the Foodies

Posted on Jun 10 2015 - 5:59pm by Kate Flannery

When speaking about ideal places for one’s vacation, most people will always envision a beautiful, heaven like a location in the Caribbean. Although for generations, Cuba served as a synonym for Caribbean paradise, political occurrences prevented it from ever developing into the most wanted Caribbean tourist destination. With the recent warming of the relationship between the U.S. and the Cuban government, this dreamlike island and all its wonders are once again open for foreign visitors.

Truth be told, Cuba is a place of incredible natural riches and dazzling landscapes. However, visiting a place and getting to really learn about it is not just about sightseeing. In order to get to really know a place, you must experience its culture, meet its people but above all else have a taste of local culture through its cuisine. When it comes to this, Cuba is second to none.

Best of Cuban cuisine

cuban sandwich

Treat yourself and take a culinary vacation to this incredible Caribbean island. Although its recent isolation damaged the Cuban economy somewhat, it influenced its cuisine for better. Because embargo prevented this country from importing many culinary supplies, it pushed local cooks and chefs into developing an even more autochthonous cuisine by relying solely on spices, vegetables and types of meat that were available to them locally. All of it had a part in making this otherwise unique cuisine even more authentic.

The way to start your day

Tasting a culture is not just about eating local but drinking local as well. Start your day with a Cubita, a local substitute for espresso or café con leche, based on your personal preference, in one of the local cafés. Add to this coffee a Cuban tostada, Cuban toast with butter, and there you have yourself a perfect and authentic local breakfast and experience.

Lunch in Cuba

Proceed with your culinary day in this Caribbean jewel by enjoying your lunch in one of the magnificent yet simple Cuban restaurants. Try the traditional empanada, as well as chicken or meat turnovers. Further complement your delicious dish with a side of mariquitas, thinly sliced plantain chips and you are bound to get a meal that you are unlikely to forget.

Another Cuban specialty, usually enjoyed for lunch, is the pan con bistec, a thin slice of palomilla steak on bread, which is then garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, and fried potato sticks on the side. One thing is for sure, regardless of what you decide on, you will certainly not regret it and it is quite possible you will urge to revel in Cuba’s culinary magnificence again as soon as possible.

Authentic Cuban snack and dinner

cuban dinner

Pastelitos, croquetas, and bocaditos are all delicious Cuban finger food, a specialty of Cuban chefs usually enjoyed as a delicious snack, to help you make it between a delicious Cuban lunch and a delicious Cuban dinner. Dinner usually consists of meat, most commonly chicken or fish accompanied with either white rice or black beans. For dessert, Cuban caramel-flavored custard is usually served; if not this, it is expected that its replacement will be one of the most curious local treats, rice pudding.

Each of these meals has its completely unique taste and every single one carries in itself its own little part of Cuba. Unfortunately, no holiday is long enough for one to taste them all. Still you are always welcome to return to Cuba over and over again, and with the wonderful weather, the authentic cultural vibe and the vintage cars – why wouldn’t you?

Kate Flannery

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About the Author

Kate is an adventuring globetrotter, and a part-time sailboat crew-member. She likes authentic food, blogging, contemplating the eldritch, and playing with her two dogs.