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Cuban cuisine is largely based on Spanish cuisine with influence from African and other Caribbean cuisines. Some Cuban recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish, African and Taino cooking, with some Caribbean influence in spice and flavor. This results in a blend of the several different cultural influences. A small but noteworthy Chinese influence can also be accounted for, mainly in the Havana area. There is also some Italian influence. During colonial times, Cuba was an important port for trade, and the Spanish ancestors of Cubans brought with them the culinary traditions of different parts of Spain.
As a result of the colonization of Cuba by Spain, one of the main influences on the cuisine is from Spain. Other culinary influences include the Taíno, the indigenous people of Cuba, Africa, from the Africans who were brought to Cuba as slaves, and French, from the French colonists who came to Cuba from Haiti. Another factor is that Cuba is an island, making seafood something that greatly influences Cuban cuisine. Another contributing factor to Cuban cuisine is that Cuba is in a tropical climate, which produces fruits and root vegetables that are used in Cuban dishes and meals.
A typical meal consists of rice and beans, cooked together or apart. When cooked together the recipe is called "congri" or "Moros" or "Moros y Cristianos" (black beans and rice). If cooked separately it is called "arroz con frijoles" (rice with beans) or "arroz y frijoles" (rice and beans).
A Cuban sandwich (sometimes called a mixto, especially in Cuba) is a popular lunch item that grew out of the once-open flow of cigar workers between Cuba and Florida (specifically Key West and the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa) in the late 19th century and has since spread to other Cuban American communities.
The sandwich is built on a base of lightly buttered Cuban bread and contains sliced roast pork, thinly sliced Serrano ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard. In Tampa, Genoa salami is traditionally layered in with the other meats, probably due to influence of Italian immigrants who lived side by side with Cubans and Spaniards in Ybor City. Tomatoes and lettuce are available additions in many restaurants, but these are considered by traditionalists as an unacceptable Americanization of the sandwich.
After assembly, the Cuban sandwich may be pressed in a grooveless panini-type grill called a plancha, which both heats and compresses the contents.
List of Cuban dishes and foods
- Arroz con leche
- Arroz con maiz
- Arroz con pollo
- Arroz a la cubana
- Bistec de palomilla
- Camarones enchilados
- Dulce de leche
- Flan de calabaza
- Flan de coco
- Flan de guayaba
- Flan de huevos
- Elena Ruz
- Frijoles negros
- Fufú de plátano
- Mojo criollo
- Moros y Cristianos
- Papa rellena
- Papitas fritas
- Platano maduro frito
- Pudín de pan
- Ropa vieja
- Sandwich Cubano
- Sopa de pollo
- Tortilla de patatas
- Tres leches cake
- Vaca frita
- Yuca con mojo
- Yuca frita
List of Cuban drinks
- Batido - Milkshake coming in flavors such as guanabana and trigo (wheat)
- Cafe Cubano - Cuban espresso
- Cuba Libre – Rum, Coca-Cola, sugar, and lime
- Daiquiri - Rum, Lime, syrup (variations with fruit)
- El Presidente
- Guarapo – juice made from pressed sugar cane
- Hatuey beer
- Malta (soft drink) – malt beverage
- Mojito – Rum, mint, sugar, lime, and club soda
- Jupiña - pineapple soda
- Cortadito - Cuban espresso and steamed evaporated milk
- Carajillo - Cuban Espresso, Liquor 43
- Cuban Piña Colada - Aged rum, lime, pineapple, and sugar
- Rodriguez, H. Cuban Food Profile: Cuban Food History
- "Cuban Cuisine - a Mellow Mixture of Spain and Africa". The Washington Post.
- Rodriguez, H. "Cuban Food Profile: Cuban Food History"
- Murray, J. Cuban Cuisine, Cuba History and Their Food
- "Cuban Black Beans and Rice - Frijoles Negros". iCuban.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Authentic Cuban Sandwich Restaurants in Tampa and Miami". Visit Florida. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Tampabay: To each, his own sandwich". www.SPTimes.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Sink teeth into quest for best Cuban sandwich". MiamiHerald.com. 15 August 2010. Archived from the original on 11 February 2020.
- ""Welcome to Cuban Sandwich City"". CigarCityMagazine.com. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Tampa history is traced in its sandwich". TBO.com. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Three Guys From Miami (n.d.). "Sandwich Cubano / Cuban Sandwich". iCuban website.
- Otto, Steve (24 October 2007). "Cuban Is Ours, Any Way You Try To Slice It". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009.
- Stern, Jane and Michael (2009). 500 Things to Eat before It's Too Late and the Very Best Places to Eat Them. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-05907-5.
- Aróstegui, Gonzalo, et al.: Manual del Cocinero Criollo, Cuba, 19th century.
- Buchmann, Christine. "Cuban Home Gardens and Their Role in Social–Ecological Resilience." Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal 37.6 (2009): 705–721. 16 Jan. 2010.
- Cancio-Bello, Carla. "The Growing Popularity of Cuban Cuisine." (2012): http://www.cubancuisine.co.uk
- Carris Alonso, Cynthia. "A Taste of Cuba: A Journey Through Cuba and its Savory Cuisine." ISBN 978-1-948062-00-8 Apollo Publishers, 2018
- Folch, Christine. "Fine Dining: Race in Prerevolution Cookbooks." Latin American Research Review 43.2 (2008): 205–223. 3 Feb. 2010.
- Hunt, Nigel. "The Agriculture History in Cuba." Cuba Agriculture. 2008. Web. 11 Feb 2010.
- Murray, James. "Cuban Cuisine, Cuba History and Their Food." 2009. Articlesbase. Web. 16 January 2010.
- Reyes Gavilán y Maen, Maria Antonieta: Delicias de la mesa. Manual de Cocina y Reposteria, 12ed., Ediciones Cultural S.A., La Habana, 1952.
- Rodriguez, Hector. "Cuban Food Profile: Cuban Food History." 2010. Latinfood.about.com. Web 16 January 2010.
- Villapol, Nitza: Cocina Cubana, 3ed., ISBN 959-05-0042-0, Editorial Cientifico-Técnica, Habana, 1992.
- Warwick, Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." Forum for Applied Research & Public Policy 16:2(2001): 54–58. 27 Feb. 2010.
- Historical aspects of Cuban cuisine
- Brenner, Philip, Jimenez, Marguerite, Kirk, John, and Leo Grunde, William. A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution. Rowman and Littlefield Publication. 2008.
- Harpers Weekly. Starvation in Cuba. The New York Times: May 30, 1897.
- Hernandez, Rafael. Looking at Cuba: Essays on Culture and Civil Society. University of Florida Press, 2003. P. 101
- Houston, Lynn Marie. Food Culture Around the World: Food Culture in the Caribbean. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2005. Pg. 115–116.
- Maria Josefa Lluria de O’Higgins. A Taste of Old Cuba: More Than 150 Recipes for Delicious, Authentic, and Traditional Dishes Highlighted with Reflections and Reminiscences. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 1994.
- Pieroni, Andrea and Price, Lisa L. Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine. New York, 2006. Haworth Press Inc.
- Randelman, Mary U. and Schwartz, Joan, Memories of a Cuban Kitchen: More than 200 classic recipes. New York: Macmillan. 1992.