There's nothing like home cooking. It's the stuff that reminds us of mama and abuela and Saturday nights spent at the kitchen table sharing good food and good stories. Cuba, with it's rich cultural heritage and delicious culinary traditions, has given us some of the most well-known and best loved Latin dishes: ropa vieja, anyone? In celebration of all that Cuba has to offer, we've rounded up some of our favorite and most irresistible Cuban recipes.
All you need is a sturdy pot (we're partial to these) and a group of friends to gather around the table. From holiday foods like pernil and moros y cristianos to salty, crispy roadside snacks like yuca fingers and malanga fritters to refreshing sweet treats like a Cuba Libre granita, here are 10 classic dishes to give you a taste of Cuba, wherever you are.
This dish is actually one traditional Cuban dish stuffed inside another traditional Cuban dish: moros y cristianos (black beans stewed with white rice) inside a succulent, savory pork shoulder seasoned with sour orange, garlic, and oregano. Can you say yum?
Malanga is similar to a yam in appearance and a potato in flavor. The root vegetable is commonly used in tropical countries. By grating the malanga, it comes together easily into a batter that fries up crispy and delicious. A savory tamarindo ketchup is the perfect dipping sauce for this classic roadside snack.
Though named a Cubano, this recipe is technically a medianoche, a variation on the traditional Cubano sandwich. It consists of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and dill pickles – the difference lies in the sweeter egg bread it is served on, which is similar to Challah. Why is it called a medianoche? Because this toasted sandwich is exactly what you'd want to eat when the clock strikes 12am. Heat up this sandwich on the press until golden brown and cut it down to middle to reveal the stringy, melty cheese and a heaping helping of pork.
As legend has it, these highly seasoned burgers got their start in a Cuban sausage factory. In order to make sure the seasoning for the chorizo sausage was perfect, a small amount of the sausage filling was quickly fried up and tasted. Eventually, the samples became a popular midday snack.