Food, eating habits and cusine of Cuba
The cuisines in Cuba are mixture of Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisines. The recipes of Cubans are a fusion of Spanish and African cooking with some influence of Caribbean spices and flavor. There are also some Chinese influences mostly in the Havana area but not that quite large.
In the Western Cuban cuisines, the main style of cooking is criollo (the term stands for “creole”). It is heavily influenced by European cuisines. The usual meal consists of rice and beans usually cooked together (called Moros y Cristianos). Sometimes it is served separately plus a soup with dark beans on the side. A main course mainly has pork or beef, some vianda (in French it is meat but in Cuba it is more on root vegetables such as potatoes, cassava, squash, sweet potatoes and a wide variety of yams), and a salad. Some Havana dishes make frequent use of alcaparrado, a mix of olives, raisins and caper which provide the sweet-and-sour-inspired flavor that is typical of this cuisine. Alcaparrado is used as an ingredient in several recipes. Although in Western Cuban cuisines used mostly criollo or the European roots, in Eastern Cuban (the old Oriente province) cuisines is influenced by African and Caribbean cuisines. A Cuban sandwich is a popular export of Cuban cuisine to the United States especially in Florida.
Cuban meals are usually accompanied with beer or natural water. The government restricts that they would only have 2 brands of locally produced beer; Crystal which is al light lager and Bucanero which is darker and stronger lager.