French food may look good on a plate, but no cuisine in the world can beat the flavors of Cuba. Its food is as diverse as its culture, with hints of Spanish, African, and other Caribbean influences. Yet, it manages to toe that delicate line between flavorful and downright intense.
All the best places to eat in Miami are bound to have the following Cuban recipes on their menu.
Ropa vieja is considered the national dish of Cuba to this very day, but it was invented in Spain. While its popularity has waned in Europe in the past 50 years, it has been adopted by many countries and taken in as their own by the Cubans.
Oddly translating to ‘old clothes’ in English, this hearty stew owes its flavors to:
- Shredded and pulled beef, pork, or chicken.
- Bean broth
- Bell peppers
- Bay leaves
Yuca con Mojo
Yuca con Mojo is the Cuban equivalent of a holiday staple. You’ll always see it on a Latin American table around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other holiday. This Cuban recipe doubles as a side dish and appetizer, depending on the occasion.
This dish is easy to make and delicious in small portions due to its high glucose content. It’s usually fried or boiled and consists of:
- Yuca (fresh or frozen)
- Garlic and onion for the sauce.
- Pork rinds (optional)
Picadillo a la Habanera
Picadillo translates to ‘ground meat’ in English. Have you ever had ground beef? Have you ever had ground beef a la Habanera? Picadillo a la Habanera is perhaps the best kind of mincemeat dish there is, not just in Latin America, but the whole region combined.
The picadillo doesn’t always have to be beef. If you’re averse to the protein, there are plenty of places in Miami where the star of the dish isn’t beef, but pork, turkey, or chicken mince served with rice, sweet potatoes, and beans.
Many Latin American countries put an authentic twist on the same recipes, and Cuba is no exception. Tamales are so famous they’ve become mainstream food here in the US. This dish is corn-based and has gone through several changes over the years.
You can even consider tamales a collection of dishes rather than just one dish because it’ll taste different in every Cuban restaurant. The recipe’s flavors range from sweet to seasoned, whereas its texture depends on the cooking method.
Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz Amarillo Con Pollo means ‘yellow rice with chicken,’ and it really is as simple as it sounds. Since it’s found in so many textures, you’ll likely find it soggy in place and dry in another, and they’ll both be equally authentic.
This yellow rice and chicken dish doesn’t always consist of chicken thighs, seasoning, onion, bell peppers, garlic, chicken broth, tomato sauce, rice, peas, and oregano because the standards are so fluid.
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