Cuban food has a rich history with various factors such as the Spanish colonization and the African slaves that shape the Cuban food into the food you know and love. At the Paradise Cuban Restaurant in Florida, you can enjoy authentic Cuban food.
But, you might wonder what is authentic Cuban food, and what is the history behind the cuisine? Perhaps you are wondering why Cuban food is not spicy; shouldn’t it be similar to Mexican food?
We decided to give you a bit of a history lesson on Cuban food, where it came from, and what you can expect at a traditional Cuban restaurant.
How Did The Spanish Colonization Influence Cuban Food?
Cuba was the first country to be colonized by the Spanish, in the Caribbean, and the last country to eventually win its freedom back. So a lot of Cuban food and traditions are rooted in Spanish cuisine.
With more Spanish people in the country, Cuban eating habits adapted. With the development of the trading ports, the Spanish imported cattle, pigs, and their own spices into the country.
However, it was not just cattle and spices imported to Cuba; the African slave trade also picked up.
How Did The African Slave Trade Influence Cuban Food?
When the African slaves came to Cuba, they brought various new ingredients and spices, such as the Guinea chicken, malanga, and plantain.
One of the spices that give Cuban dishes their unique taste is cumin, which came with the slaves from Africa.
The Cubans also started to include rice into their meals; rice and beans are, to this day, a staple in Cuban food.
What To Expect At A Cuban Restaurant In Florida?
The following section will look at what you can find in a Cuban restaurant in Florida.
Debunk The Mexican Food Myth
Let us quickly debunk the myth that Cuban food should be spicy like Mexican food; it isn’t true. Yes, chilies do grow in Cuba, but Cubans are not known to like spicy food.
No Pepper Shaker
The history of our food and spices is based on Spanish, African, and some Chinese and Italian cuisine. In a traditional Cuban restaurant in Florida, you might not even find a pepper shaker on the table.
Cuban cuisine uses a range of spices such as salt, onions, garlic, oregano, and laurel.
Fish Was Widely Available, But Beef Was Preferred
Cuban is an island, and fish is thus widely available, but most Cubans preferred meat over fish.
Vegetables And Fruits
Cuban cuisine uses seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, malanga, plantains, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and avocados.
Just because you can find vegetables on a Cuban restaurant menu, you wouldn’t necessarily find vegan options.
A Typical Cuban Dish
A typical Cuban dish usually has a source of meat, which is usually beef or pork, some people prefer fish. This is accompanied by rice or beans cooked in a variety of ways.
Most Cuban restaurants in Florida will add a side salad to complete the perfect meal.
Cuban food has evolved over time due to various historical events. Today we can enjoy the most authentic Cuban food even if we are not in Cuba.