When looking at booking a holiday to Cuba, people often ask ‘what is the food like’? We have been to Cuba on 12 separate ocassions to date and have enjoyed the food we have been served in Cuba. Food in Cuba gets it’s influence from Spanish and African origins and is generally not spicy as other Caribbean Islands such as Jamaica, although in recent years, more spice is being introduced in Cuba.
In the Tourist Hotels you will find a variety of dishes with foods imported for the tourist trade, including Italian, Chinese, Meditteranean and Seafood dishes.You will also find some Cuban dishes but these are fewer between, some Hotels have a ‘Cuban Day’ whereby you can eat the food that the locals have, this is normally ‘Moros y Cristianos‘ (black beans and rice), ‘lechon asado‘ (slow roasted pork), and ‘pollo en salsa‘ (chicken in sauce) along with plantains that are sliced thinly and sprinkled with salt, bananas and beef tomatoes. This is then washed down with a shot of Cuban espresso coffee which is mixed with demerera sugar to make it smoother. Ice cream is also abundant in Cuba and the Cuban Ice Cream is fabulous.
Some guests in Hotel’s will also enjoy the recent addition of extra facilities like burger bars and pizza bars that have been added to Hotel’s such as the Playa Pesquero Hotel. Pizza is another very popular food in Cuba and can be found in most town’s and cities in Cuba and is a safe form of snack for those who are not quite prepared to be so adventurous and is excellent for children.
What guests do have to watch is not to over indulge too much in alcohol. The Hotel’s for tourists are mainly All Inclusive except in Havana where you can choose different board basis from Bed % Breakfast to Full Board. What some do not realise is that some of the ingredients in the cocktails are natural laxatives such as pineapple in Pina Colada to name but one and therefore over indulgence can cause upset stomach, something I did not even realise when I first started travelling to the Caribbean but to date, I have had no ill effects from eating food in Cuba whatsoever or from drinking cocktails or other beverages.
Travelling outside the Hotels and visiting friends we have made on previous visits, we have been honoured to be guests when our friends have provided a ‘hog roast‘ as we refer to it, but the Cuban’s simply call it ‘killing a pig’.
This is authentic Cuban food along with the chicken, black beans and rice, plantain ‘chips’, beef tomatoes and finished off with what has been described to me as ‘flam’ a dessert high in sugar content and the consistency of a solid blancmange, which is a caramel flavoured custard with (I think) breadcrumbs in, which to be honest is so ‘moreish’ I could eat until bursting! This along with Cuban Rum is a delightful day out for us!
This is quite an honour as in Cuba, they only usually ‘kill a pig’ on special occasions such as Weddings and birthday’s, so to have a hog roast laid on for us by our Cuban friends is humbling and we are always very grateful.
In Cuba very recently, local people have been allowed by the Cuban Government to open their own restaurants and on a trip to Cuba back in September 2012, we were pleased to be invited by our Cuban friends to a restaurant in Banes which was not expensive, the food was plentiful and very delicious! As always, we had the black beans and rice along with a piece of meat I would describe as gammon that was well salted when it was cured and was mouth wateringly delicious along with the usual side salad and plantain, such a wonderful evening. There are alot more of these ‘private’ restaurants now opening in the larger towns and Cities for Cuban’s and Tourists to enjoy and they are not expensive at all.
Beef, shrimp and Lobster are a harder commodity to come by outside the tourist hotels as these are not so readily available and are mainly only available at the Tourist Hotels, saying that though, on our most recent visit, Beef was not available at the Hotel we stayed in which was a surprise to us but there are times when the Hotel’s are unable to get certain things, this you will mainly see with vegetables that have to be imported from other countries or when they are out of season in Cuba. Lobster, shrimp and fish dishes are easily available and if staying at some of the higher star rated Hotel’s in Cuba (4 stars and above) are included in the cost of the All Inclusive board basis, which normally in other countries, you have to pay extra for lobster.
In general, the food in Cuba is more than edible it is very delicious and we never worry about food in Cuba, we enjoy what we have provided for us, it is normally a lot more choice than the Cuban’s have themselves.
Have a look at our Cuba Hotels page and choose which Hotel you would prefer to stay in, take a look at our Cuba Late Deals page for latest last minute deals and our Cuba Holiday Offers page for up to date prices on offer for holidays throughout the year. Visit Cuba yourselves to sample the wonderful Food in Cuba. Call us direct on 0800 810 8959.