Cuban Food Recommendations

June 28th, 2007  |  by  |  Published in Food

Here are some simple suggestions on what to order at a Cuban Restaurant.

WARNING: Cubans are not known for their heart healthy cuisine so don’t be surprised if you find a lack of variety in salads, vegetables and other “light” fare. We’ve heard it said that Cuban food is either smashed, fried or both.

Appetizers (Aperitivos)

  • Tamal – seasoned cornmeal with bits of ham or pork wrapped in a corn husk
  • Croqueta – breaded ham croquette
  • Frituritas de Malanga – like hush puppies made from Malanga, a grey root vegetable similar to a yam
  • Mariquitas – fried plantain chips. Make sure they serve them sliced lengthwise and served with garlic sauce.

Soups (Sopas)

  • Sopa de Pollo – chicken soup
  • Sopa de Platanos – plantain soup. Surprisingly good.
  • Caldo Gallego – a white bean soup from Spain.

Main Course

  • Fricase de Pollo – chicken fricasee
  • Bistec de Pollo a la Plancha – grilled chicken breast
  • Pollo Milanesa – grilled chicken breast, breaded, fried and topped with Spanish sause, ham and mozarella cheese (also done with steak, Bistec Milanesa)
  • Bistec Empanizado – breaded, pan fried flat beef steak
  • Ropa Vieja – shredded beef in a seasoned sauce (ropa vieja means “old clothes”)
  • Vaca Frita – flank steak fried with onions (vaca frita means “fried cow”)
  • Picadillo – seasoned ground beef in a tomato sause
  • Lechon Asado – roast pork served with onions
  • Cordero – lamb shank

Side Dishes

  • Frijoles Negros y Arroz Blanco – black beans and rice served separately. The staple of Cuban cuisine.
  • Moros – black beans and rice cooked together
  • Maduros – sweet (ripe) plantains, fried
  • Tostones – green (not ripe) plantains, smashed and fried (we told you so)
  • Yuca en Mojo – boiled yuca (casava) served in a garlic sauce

Deserts (Postres)

  • Flan – caramel custard, also served in different variations such as with cream cheese added (Flan de Queso)
  • Arroz con Leche – rice pudding with cinnamon
  • Tres Leches – white cake drenched in fresh milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk (three milks cake)

Drinks (Bebidas)

  • Sangria – red wine with fresh fruit added
  • Materva – a mate soft drink
  • Cafe – cuban coffee, so strong it is served in a shot-glass sized cup
  • Cafe con Leche – cuban coffee with steamed milk (like a latte but cheaper)
  • Cortadito – half a serving of cafe con leche

We hope you enjoy.

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