We don’t know about you, but we think one of the best things about visiting a new location is trying the local food. If you agree, you are in for a real treat in Cuba.
If you’re not hungry now, you will be by the time you finish reading about the best Cuban foods to try on your trip…
Pernil Relleno De Moros Y Cristianos
We are going to start with a real classic and one of the best Cuban foods to try; Pernil Relleno De Moros Y Cristianos.
This is a dish consisting of white rice and black bean stew, which is stuffed into a pork shoulder. The pork is marinated with a mixture of oregano, garlic, and sour orange. After which, it is roasted to perfection.
If you have been busy exploring the streets of Havana, this dish will be a satisfying end to the day.
Fried Ripe Banana (Plátano Maduro Frito)
In Cuban cuisine, you will find that banana is a popular ingredient. Fried ripe bananas, in particular, are much-loved by Cubans. Despite boasting relative simplicity from an ingredient and preparation standpoint, this is a dish that is adored.
A ripe banana is cut into thick slices and then fried in hot oil. Salt and any other preferred flavorings are used for seasoning, and you can tuck into this dish when it is cool enough.
Throughout South America, tamales are highly popular because they are based on corn, which is the most widely available crop in this part of the world.
To make tamale, young corn is wrapped in a corn husk, which is steamed and served with a hot sauce or salsa.
Every region does have a slightly different approach to Tamal, which depends on the quirks and history of the area.
Cuban Tamales are unique in Cuba because fresh ground corn is used instead of cornmeal. Plus, they are typically filled with spices or ground pork.
Cuban Shrimp In Red Sauce And Rice (Camarones Enchilados)
This delicious Cuban delicacy is a specialty of Baracoa, which is a place that has become famous for foodies around the world.
In Cuban culinary culture, you will find a lot of shrimp dishes on the menu. They tend to be combined with a signature red sauce consisting of tomatoes and a number of other herbs and spices.
Cuban Black Bean Soup
Another comforting dish! Cuban Black Bean Soup is a real classic. It consists of a traditional blend of oregano and black beans.
You can also find Black Bean Soup with Bacon, which tastes incredible.
Cuban Oxtail Stew (Rabo Encendido)
The name for this dish is “rabo encendido,” which means “flaming oxtail.” It gets this label because it incorporates flaming hot sauce and a good helping of chili pepper.
When you order this dish at a restaurant, you know you are getting a meal that has been lovingly prepared, as a minimum of three hours of stewing are required to create that soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Another food you have to try in Cuba is a Cuban sandwich. This sandwich is so popular that you will find it on menus around the world but nowhere does it quite like Cuba.
The perfect mixture of flavor and texture, a Cubano consists of cheese, ham, salsa, pickles, and mustard, which are sandwiched in between lightly toasted traditional Cuban bread.
You end up with a sandwich that has a crunchy and slightly chewy texture while bringing strong flavors of mustard, pickle, and ham to the fore.
Do not be surprised to find lots of different spin-offs of the traditional Cubano.
Cuban Ham Croquetas (Croquetas De Jamón)
Cheese-filled, crispy croquetas mixed with ham or another type of deli meat are typical snacks for the people of Cuba.
While this dish may have its origins in France, the Spanish brought this dish to Cuba, and it has since been adapted on these shores.
The Spanish version of this delicacy uses chicken as a filling. However, ham and other dairy products tend to be used in Cuba.
A lot of Cubans like to eat this dish for breakfast. Two pieces of croquetas will give you all of the fuel you need to get through the morning.
You won’t miss the delicious smell of Vaca Frita, a mouth-watering skirt steak laced with fresh herbs and braised until tender. And yes; it tastes as good as it smells!
You will often find that the dish is finished with lemon-infused peppers and onions, which offer the perfect finishing touch.
Cuban Sweet Potato Pudding (Boniatillo)
Sweet potatoes are used in many recipes in Cuba. In fact, this is an ingredient that is celebrated in Cuban cuisine, with the name of this dish (Boniatillo) deriving from the word “boniato,” which means sweet potatoes.
With this dish, sweet potatoes are mashed until a silky, creamy texture is achieved. After which, some sweet condiments and sugar are added to improve the tantalizing sweetness at the end.
Yuca con Mojo
Yuca con Mojo is a dish that is popular during Cuban family celebrations. It is a healthy, simple dish, which tends to be served as an appetizer.
It involves marinating yuca root, also referred to as cassava, in olive oil, lime, and garlic. It’s not uncommon to include onions in the marinade.
Last but not least, we cannot talk about the best Cuban foods without mentioning Ropa Vieja.
If you are a fan of beef, you will love this braised skirt steak, which simmers to perfection in a tomato sauce that is full of flavor. This is accompanied by fried ripe plantains and served on top of white rice.
A hearty and flavorsome dish, with fried plantains being the ideal accompaniment. You cannot go to Cuba without trying some plantain.
Is your mouth watering yet?
So there you have it: the best Cuban foods to try while visiting this part of the world. From Ropa Vieja to Vaca Frita, you won’t be disappointed when trying the local cuisine in Cuba.