Is Cuban food boring?

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Many people think that Cuban food is boring, it's always rice and beans and roast pork. Some visitors to the island have complaints about it in Cuban food restaurants, especially when they attend a single place for several days.

Truly one of the pillars of the Cuban food is rice, we eat it ALWAYS. Moreover beans, black and red, have a presence at the table almost inexorable, whether in the well-known "potage" or "congris". There's nothing to say about meat, the other side of the table.

Rice and beans, a Cuban traditional meal

But that does not mean that the local food is limited and it is only as many visitors say: "tasty but boring, every day the same."

Cuban food has many recipes. The tipical Cuban "ajiaco", a stew of various vegetables and meat: yucca with mojo, tamales (corn flour cooked in corn husks themselves), fruit salads and vegetables are always in Cuban table. Not to mention the desserts, the traditional cuisine that has immense variety of them, from the stale milk pudding, coconut candy, fruit jams and cheese, etc., until the dumplings and sweets from mountainous regions.

The traditional Cuban meals are tasty and varied. But we can not get variation in a restaurant, where dishes have to be made in large quantities for many customers, hence they make only the most sought leaving us with not much to choose from when you go for a few days. Also sometimes some dishes are prepared overnight so they lose their freshness and flavor. Creole food is best eaten at home.

Cuba is different from Europe and North America where people have forgotten to cook, it is a quick bite on the street and when you get home, order food outside or heat something already precooked. Those options are not viable in Cuba. The food is very expensive, above the average income of the Cuban family. Although the quality is pretty good for locals especially the private restaurants called "paladares", the price prohibits daily consumption of food outside the home. It is for these reasons that the Cuban housewives HAVE TO COOK, and they do it EVERY DAY, more or less depending on the skill of the cook, but most of the food consumed in Cuba is home cooked.

No wonder that most visitors staying in private homes, choose the food offered by their hosts. For several reasons: the food is prepared at home, always cooked on the day, not overheated, more simple and spontaneous, and truly healthier than you might find in a high carat restaurant, is a real test of the Cuban food, with plenty of tropical fruits and vegetables, is a real example of what the local food can be, much better than what you can find in an all inclusive hotel. Also the prices are quite cheap, at the same level of the cheaper restaurants. All of this without forgetting the kindness and hospitality of the Cuban host who make their guest feel like if they were eating at home.

So, I do not accept that Cuban food is boring, but you must to know where to find it, and restaurants and hotels are not the best places to discover the local food. Grandmothers and the common cooks are the best guides in the adventure of recreating our palate with simple and tasty Cuban cuisine.

Cuban ajiaco, traditional soup

Rice and beans, Cuban traditional meal