Cuban food is varied, fresh, and plentiful, full of strong flavours and natural produce. Although there is a huge range of restaurants and bars around the country where from you could sample some Cuban delicacies, there is nothing better than being able to cook it yourself in the comfort of your accommodation in Cuba.
In many of the main cities and towns, you will find local markets that stock all the ingredients that you will need for Cuban dishes, the majority of which would have been grown in the immediate area.
One of the best ways to learn how to cook Cuban style is to take a cooking class. Although you will find classes no matter where your Cuba villa rental is located, the hub of cooking class activity seems to be Havana. There are countless tour operators that offer this as an excursion, and it is easy to find one that meets your preferences.
Taking a class is great way to learn about the daily life of a Cuban, that starts first thing in the morning with a trip to the local market. In Havana, these markets are names mercados, and it is where Cuban people purchase their fruit, vegetables, and meat. Once you have purchased everything you need for the dishes that you will be cooking, your tour guide will take you back to the kitchen to begin your culinary adventure.
There are a range of Cuban dishes that you can try your hand at making, the most common of which include:
- Ropa Vieja – This is a Cuban-style shredded beef dish that is often served with rice and accented with olives and capers.
- Chicken Stew – This is not chicken stew that most people know; it draws flavours from the alcaparrado and contains a mix of pimento-stuffed olives as well as capers and sweet raisins.
- Fish with Escabeche Sauce – Made with lots of garlic, sliced yellow onion, bell pepper, and bay leaves, this dish is a Cuban favourite.
Once you know how to cook some of these amazing dishes, you will never have to leave your vacation rental in the Caribbean again!