What do people eat in Cuba?

Diet

Traditional Cuban cuisine is called criollo. Traditional Cuban cooking uses hints and blends of Spanish, Afro-Caribbean, Portuguese, French, Arabic and even Chinese culinary influences and techniques. The basic ingredients are rice, beans, eggs, tomatoes, lettuce, chicken, beef and pork. Yucca (also known as cassava) and malanga are root vegetables that can be boiled or baked. The most common seasonings are onion and “ajo” or garlic.

“Ajiaco” is a stew made with meat, garlic and vegetables. Pork may be served with a garlic sauce called mojo criollo. Congrí is rice cooked with red kidney beans. Rice with black beans is called moros y cristianos, which means “Moors and Christians.” Fufú is made from green bananas that have been boiled and mashed. It is sometimes served with crumbled pork rinds. Fritúra de maíz (corn fritters) are often served at street stalls. Plátanos maduros fritos (fried sweet bananas) may be served as a dessert.

Rationing was introduced in 1962 to ensure that all Cubans have equal access to food. The ration book “libreta” is supposed to guarantee a regular supply of foods such as sugar, rice, beans and cooking oil to all Cubans.

Coffee is usually served strong and sweet. Another favorite drink is guarapo, a clear juice made from sugar cane. Cuba's national drink is rum, and Cuba is famous for its rum cocktails. The mojito is made with white rum, ice, fresh lime juice, sugar, soda water and fresh mint leaves. The daiquiri consists of white rum, sugar, fresh lime juice and crushed ice.

A typical Cuban breakfast consists of toast (tostadas) dipped in white coffee (café con leche), a combination of strong coffee and warm milk. Lunch and dinner, usually consist of a hearty spread, usually with dishes combining white rice, black beans and other legumes, meats and salads. Cuban sandwiches and empanadas (meat or chicken pasties) are popular for lunch, as are mariquitas, which are thinly sliced plantain chips. There are many tasty Cuban desserts to enjoy, such as the Cuban flan and bread pudding .



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