What Foods Are Eaten in Cuba?

foods-eaten-cuba Credit: Mark Mitchell/CC-BY 2.0

The most-prevalent Cuban foods are meats, stews and black beans. Cuban cuisine is mainly influenced by Spanish and African culinary styles, as well as Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese and French cuisine. A typical Cuban meal contains items such as rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, pork and chicken. Root vegetables and tubers such as potatoes, yucca, boniatos and malanga are common, as are bananas and plantains.

Cubans enjoy eating pizza, often topped with chorizo, ham or onion. Some other popular dishes include grilled pork chops, chicken in a salsa sauce, stew with meat, garlic and vegetables, boiled and mashed green bananas with meat, pies or pancakes filled with meat, spiced beef with onions and tomatoes, and fish or steak stuffed with ham and cheese. Nearly all meals are served with fried plantains as well as black beans and rice.

Traditional Cuban food does not usually have sauces or seasonings. The most-prominent flavoring for root vegetables is a sauce called mojo, which is a blend of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onions and cumin. Lobster is so popular in Cuba that it is close to being endangered, as of 2014. Other than lobster, seafood is rarely eaten. Many Cubans eat local, fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from farmer's markets.