Table of Contents
The Cuban Cuisine and its Generalities
The Cuban cuisine is the result of a happy fusion between Aboriginal, Spanish, African, Caribbean and Chinese culinary customs. In a general sense, all the Cuban culinary recipes share the wisdom of the combination between the spices and the techniques inherited by the native Tainos, and later combined with the Spanish and African cuisine, with certain Caribbean influences in spices and flavors. Traditional Cuban cuisine is, like almost all the cultural aspects of the island, a fusion of cultures and traditions. The most popular dishes are black beans, stews and meats. Perhaps the two most typical examples of traditional Cuban cuisine are the “Moors and Christians” (rice with black beans) and “Congrí” (rice with red beans). Both one and the other use many different dressings, one of the most common is garlic.
The History of Cuban Cuisine
From the historical point of view in the process of conformation of Cuban cuisine it is notable to emphasize, first of all, the marked influences of the African slaves that they cultivated in the plantations of sugar cane. On the other hand, tobacco plantations were mainly inhabited by poor Spanish peasants from the Canary Islands. In the eastern part of the island, large numbers of French, Haitian and Caribbean immigrants could also be found, mainly during the Haitian Revolution, as well as seasonal workers for sugar cane harvests, especially Spaniards, during the 1850. All this cultural and ethnic diversity made it possible for Cuban cuisine to become locally traditional.
Fundamental Ingredients of Cuban Cuisine
Inside The Cuban Cuisine is very common to find rice, grains, eggs, tomatoes, lettuce, chicken, cassava, meat and pork as the most common ingredients. At the arrival of the Europeans, the native Cubans harvested tubers such as cassava, sweet potatoes and potatoes, as well as corn, squash and okra. Among the original fruits of the island are guava, mango, mamey, etc. Among the most important condiments are the pepper. The more extensive list can be found in the meat, since it was usual the consumption of marine species like sharks, kawamas, and species of fresh water like the jicotea and the biajaca, as well as great amount of birds and large reptiles like iguanas and the Cuban crocodile. The Spanish settlers adopted all these elements and later integrated into the Cuban diet legumes, rice, and citrus, such as oranges and lemons, as well as cattle and pigs. African slaves incorporated African foods such as yams, among others. Coffee is another of the highlights of Cuban culinary traditions.