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Cuban Cuisine

Cubans have kept the culinary arts alive despite poverty and the excessive prices of foodstuffs. 

The baking of the bread

 A pile of rice and red beans is for many of them their daily meal. Cubans generally don't eat meat ,and certainly not chicken more than once a week. They only eat fish once a year.

All of these products are prohibitively expensive, when they aren't impossible to find, like the lobsters that are reserved for export or for hotels. In spite of it all, the tourist can usually find, for just a few dollars, a meal that would equal in one sitting what a Cuban might have in several.

The pleasures of lobster fishing

Unlike in Europe, meals in Cuba are not divided up into courses which follow one another inexorably to dessert.

A meal begins with a few beers, then one goes to the table where all the food is presented, with water as an accompaniment.

The main entree is often accompanied by rice and/or black beans. A salad of batavia (a kind of lettuce), tomatoes, and cucumbers compliments the whole thing.

Cuban cuisine is a subtle panacea of mixtures, products and ways of cooking imported across history by immigrants: French, Spanish, American, Indian, African, etc.

It is the product of the encounter between European colonists and Indian and African slaves. It is a bountiful and creative cuisine, with infinite variations in form and in basic ingredients. Spices, herbs, rum and sugar are everywhere as they are in most Caribbean cuisine.

And just to make your mouth water, here are a couple of recipes. We have taken out any hard to find ingredients so that you can make them at home no matter what. Cuban cuisine is always innovative and incessantly creative.

Cuban Sea Bream

- 1 Sea bream- 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper - a can of coconut milk or two coconuts- 1 onion, chopped fine- 2 cloves of garlic- 1 hot pepper, chopped fine- 3 tomatoes - salt to taste- olive oil.

Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds to loosen their skins, peel them and cut into quarters. Brown the onion, garlic, chopped red and yellow peppers, and the hot pepper in some olive oil in a large saucepan.

Add the tomatoes, the coconut milk and some salt. Cover and let cook over low heat for ten minutes. Salt to taste.

Place the fish that has been cut up into equal parts on top of the vegetables, and cook for fifteen minutes, turning them over carefully one time. Place the fish on a plate with the vegetables for serving.


Peel the plantains and cut them into slices lengthwise. Fry them briefly on each side in olive or sunflower oil until golden brown. Salt and enjoy!


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