Cuban food is powerful. They say the right dish can lighten even the tensest situation or can help celebrate the biggest victories. And on top of that, it’s absolutely delicious. On a personal note, the best food is the one mom used to cook for us when we were kids, right? So let’s talk about the secrets and flavors of the food that we love and which brings back lovely memories.
Due to its history, the Cuban cuisine is a blend of Spanish and African influences: citrus fruits, rice and vegetables from the Spanish colonists combined perfectly with cassava, maize and okra of the Africans. Classic Cuban dishes include mojo chicken and black beans and rice, which was named Moors and Christians to represent the culinary symbiosis of the dish.
Do you smell fried food? It comes from Cuba
Fried food is a constant feature of Cuban meals. The word vianda in Spanish means food, but in Cuba it has become the collective term for root vegetables such as potatoes, cassava, squash, sweet potatoes and a wide variety of yams, all of which are normally eaten fried or boiled.
What came first? The huevos habaneros or the Picadillo cua cua?
Eggs are one of the few ingredients that are easily available in Cuba. After all, everyone has chickens, even in cities – even in Havana. Needless to say, there’s a lot of eggs based food in Cuba, such as the delicious huevos habaneros, a dish made of eggs cooked over a sofrito – a gently fried mixture of tomatoes, garlic, peppers and onions. Or the Picadillo cua cua, the local version of hash and eggs, and it contains plantains and occasionally beef. It is served with rice.
Spicy people, spicy music, spicy food
Beyond the famous and widely accepted and used garlic and onions, other common spices used in Cuban cooking are bay laurel, oregano, coriander, cumin and pepper. Many sauces have a tomato base. Sofrito is one example, combining aromatic ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, green bell pepper, chorizo and onion with olive oil over low heat. Sofrito is often used to add depth and complexity to rice and bean dishes, soups and stews.
Now that we got your attention and activated your taste buds, what Cuban dish you going to try tonight?