This month in the Tastetrotting Across The Globe series, we are traveling to Cuba! I am a week late with posting this cause I was more focused on dealing with my sinus infection.
The first two thoughts that came to my mind when I was researching Cuba was Cuban cigars and Cuban coffee. Can’t forget about the Cuban coffee! Have you ever tried their coffee? I haven’t, but I’ve heard about it from others. I am not a coffee drinker (but I do like the smell) so we will not be trying out any Cuban coffee during our taste travels to Cuba, unless I can talk my husband (who is a coffee drinker) to try some and write a post about it, but I really don’t see that happening.
As I was researching, I honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I was researching Cuban cuisine. At first I thought that it would be spicy and I would have to figure out a way to tone it down a little without losing the Cuban flair, cause I just don’t do spicy! But I learned that there food isn’t really spicy at all, just full of flavor.
As the first Spanish colony in the Caribbean, Cuban food and culture is rich in Spanish influence. This influence combined with the countries unique twists ensured that Cuba was the place to be for the rich and famous.
During the American prohibition the rich and famous would travel to Cuba to get their fix of Cuban adventure. Now we know why Cuba has its reputation as being the party capital.
Much of the original Cuban cuisine that we know today is strongly influenced by southern Spain, particulary Andalucia. Cuban cusine also has strong African influences, with a touch of French from Haiti and Italian and Chinese traits.
This diverse mix of cultures equals vibrant flavors with distinctive spices and seasonings. The most common meals include those made with pork, chicken, rice, beans, tomatoes, and lettuce. Hot spices are rarely used in Cuban cooking. Fried (pollo frito) or grilled (pollo asado) chicken or pork chops are typically eaten.
About the Recipe
The first recipe that I chose to try for Cuba is the Cuban Sandwich. Now that I am Paleo, I had to figure out a way to be creative and make a Paleo version of it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that at first. Then I decided to turn it into a Cuban Sandwich salad bowl.
I know that it’s not a traditional dish, but it was inspired.
I also had to be creative when it came to plantains because it’s rare that our grocery stores around here carries Plantains. So I just used underripe bananas, and I would say it worked pretty good. If you are someone like me that likes to munch and nibble while cooking, you’ll probably want to buy extra plantains or bananas cause these are very addicting and yummy to snack on!
I had extra pork left over so I even made a very tasty breakfast the next morning with the leftover pork and extra underripe bananas. I haven’t decided yet if I will be sharing this recipe or not!