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Top 5: Traditional Cuban Foods

by Jack Guy

Oct 22, 2017

Cuban food © Roxana Gonzalez | Dreamstime

Top 5 / Caribbean

Cuban cuisine draws on a number of influences, but menus are often constrained by a lack of ingredients. Here are five traditional dishes to watch out for.

Ropa Vieja

While the name of this dish may translate as “old clothes,” it’s a lot tastier than you might think. Shredded beef in a tomato-based sauce might not sound elaborate, but it’s the simplicity that makes it so tasty.

Cuban Sandwich

You’ll find these everywhere around Cuba, and they’re well worth a try. With ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, there’s taste and texture to spare. The best ones come pressed like a panini.

Papas Rellenas

Look out for these potato balls on sale from small kiosks in towns and cities around the country. They are usually filled with a ground beef mixture, but you might also find them with cheese.

Fricase de Pollo

This chicken stew is simply delicious and a favorite on menus across the island. It’s a hearty affair that might seem a bit out of place in the Caribbean, but once you try it you’ll see why it’s so popular.

Pescado en Escabeche

Fish escabeche is another simple dish, but one to look out for if you get bored of the meat and chicken options. It’s slightly confusing why Cuban menus don’t feature too much fish given that the country is an island, so make the most of it when you see it.

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