From its origins, Cuban food result from an accidental blend of native Taino, European (mainly Spanish with a splash of French and Portuguese), African, and Caribbean food, with a hint of Chinese food.Cuban recipes are based on some raw ingredients in which tomato sauce, black beans, tubers, and sofrito are the main ingredients.
Cuban food dishes are generally healthy but fried,, and creamy sauces are also part of their food and cuisines. Due to the climate of Cuba, tropical fruits and root vegetables are used a lot. Many dishes incorporate seafood in them as the seafood is abundant on the island. As a tourist in Cuba many people recommend ordering seafood dishes while dining in restaurants. You are guaranteed to eat fresh fish “catch of the day”..
Cuban cuisine is the fusion of Spanish, African, and Aboriginal customs, combined with Asian and Yucatecan immigrants’ later immigration. Immigrants worldwide came to Cuba, but the most noticeable impact was made by the African slaves who invented tostones and reinvented the banana and plantains.
The natives on the island cultivated corn & cassava, and a variety of other fruits & vegetables and introduced them to the Spanish colonizers. The Spanish located in the south of the peninsula arrived in Cuba in the first colony century.
They used to fry foods and brought over cattle and pigs from Spain. The Chinese brought rice, and that is why their influence is significant for Cuba. Only Indian and Chinese knew how to grow rice. Rice cultivation began in the late 19th century. Rice was considered to be one of the most significant staple foods not only in Cuba but also in Latin America.
In the 1850s, a traditional fusion of Cuban and Chinese food was made by Chinese migrants. A blend of the Caribbean and Chinese flavors became famous as Cuban-Chinese cuisine by the Chinese brought to Cuba as laborers.
Even after the Chinese left Cuba island in 1959, people established Cuban-Chinese foods and cuisines in the US, mainly in New York City & Miami. However, the food and cuisines of these Cuban-Chinese restaurants are more Cuban than that of Chinese.
On the other hand, Beans were native to the island, and Arroz con frijoles have been married ever since. When these two foods are mixed, they are known as Moros or Moros Cristianos, which means Moors and Christians.
Moors and Christians is a combination of black beans and white rice. Black beans represent the dark Muslim Moors, and the white rice represents the Christians.
On a large island like Cuba, food was never the problem until Castro made food sources sparse and lowered the quality. During the 1950’s many chefs and restaurant owners fled the country, and the nationalization of farms and mills deteriorated crop production and quality.
Comida Criolla is the most typical Cuban food. There is always a protein source in Cuban foods like pork, chicken, seafood, a salad, fried plantains, and rice and beans – Rice is a part of every meal in Cuba. Food has always been an essential part of Cuban culture. There is plenty of space for Cuba to work on its foods and cuisines.