Cuban Cuisine

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Browse All Cuban Recipes: Cuban Appetizers | Cuban Beverages | Cuban Soups | Cuban Salads | Cuban Vegetarian | Cuban Meat Dishes | Cuban Snacks | Cuban Desserts


Cuba - Cooking and Food[edit]

Overview of Cuban Cuisine History[edit]

Roots of typical Cuban cooking can be traced back to 3500 years, when people from South America, engaged mainly in fishing and hunting started migrating to this Island Nation who were later mixed with the indigenous farmer tribes. Apart from the Spanish influences in Cuban cuisine, there is also a mix of African, Arabian and Chinese food habits.

The invasion of Cuba by Spanish, Portuguese and British also played a role in the rich cuisine diversity. Cuba also got some special cuisine habits and rhythmic dance steps from African slaves imported to work in farmlands and Sugar factories. African, American and European culinary thus influence cuisines of Cuba.

Cuisines of Cuba[edit]

File:Map of Cuba.gif
Map of Cuba - Click to enlarge

Cuban cuisines spice up the rich Caribbean food diversity with indigenous culinary got adapted from Spanish, Portuguese, Arabian, Chinese and African food habits merge together to form special Cuban culinary. Apart from dried spices, everything else that goes to Cuban recipe will be fresh. Cuisines of Cuba include sauces, tea, coffee, desserts, cookies (biscuits, crackers), seafood, meat, fruit items, jellies etc. Cuban cuisines rarely use exotic spices. Onion, garlic, cumin seed, oregano, bay leaves etc are used in Cuban cooking. olive oil is the cooking medium.

Unlike cuisines from other parts of the world, all items of Cuban food are served at the same time. Non-vegetarian food items are cooked very slowly with limejuice or sour orange juice as base. The vegetables used in Cuban recipes are nutritious and energy giving ones. Baked food items, dessert items, cheese, ice creams etc also enrich Cuban culinary.

The healthy food items are further enhanced by simple preparation methods. The diversity of Cuban culinary also reminds us of the rich cultural diversity of this island nation. Dishes include Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice), arroz con pollo (Chicken and rice) and picadillo (minced Beef and rice) Soups made from plantains, chickpeas are also common.

Preparation Methods for Cuban Cooking[edit]

Fresh fruits, vegetables and meat form main components of Cuban Food. Preparation of Cuban food needs fresh ingredients; one exception is dried spices. Fresh meat (Chicken, Pork) is cooked on low flame for long hours. Sautéing of onions and spices is common. Fresh Turkey, Beef etc are easily available and are cheap. Countryside families still depend on traditional methods of cooking, using firewood and iron cooking vessels. Pork is a special item for special occasions; a small pig is roasted slowly over low flames. The use of salt, oil and fat also is declining owing to increased health consciousness among people. Deep frying methods, use of thick sauces, butter etc are also missing from Cuban cooking methods.

Special Equipment for Cuban Cooking[edit]

Traditional Cuban cooking employed no sophisticated cooking equipments. Cuban food can be cooked with standard kitchen equipments. Some food items require long cooking time.

People in Cuban Food[edit]

Are you a chef or a cook experienced in preparing Cuban culinary and likes to share your knowledge with the world?

Cooks and chefs experienced in preparing Cuban food items found themselves comfortable in US cities like Florida, serving plantain chips, meat, guava pastes, cafecitos (nothing but Cuban coffee), pastries etc. They have adapted to cook with lesser amount of salt and without olive oil (unimaginable in Cuba) and with ingredients readily available at the new places.