Cuba is a beautiful country with a rich history and delicious Cuban food. Read about Cuban culture and get delicious recipes here!
On the Menu
- Cuban Style Black Beans
- Papas Rellenas
Fun Facts about Cuba
- Cuba is home to the smallest bird in the world, a 5 centimeter hummingbird
- It’s also home to the smallest frog in the world, the Dwarf Eleuth, which is 10 mm in length
- Cuba is one of the most popular destinations for solo female travelers in the world, as it is one of the safest countries in the Caribbean
- Cuba has one of the lowest birthrates in the western hemisphere, but one of the highest literacy rates in the world, at 99.8% literate
- Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba, which is where he wrote The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Cuban Flag
The Cuban flag features 3 blue stripes and two white stripes. The design has a red triangle emerging from the left side of the flag, which represents strength and constancy. The triangle houses a white star, which stands for independence.
Cuba lives in the Caribbean, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Thousands of smaller islands and archipelagos make up this large island nation. The four sections of the country, are named Colorados, Sabana-Camaguey, Jardines de la Reina, and Canarreos.
The capital of the country is Havana. Cuba also houses the Isla de Juventud (the Island of Youth), a former prison island that once imprisoned Fidel Castro.
One of the most iconic spots of Cuba (at least to United States citizens) is Guantánemo Bay. After Cuba became independent from the US in 1902, Guantánemo Bay remained in Cuba. The US attempts to pay Cuba $4,000 per year for the land, but Cuba never cashes any of the checks.
Life in Cuba
The majority of the population in Cuba is multiethnic. The country was once home to twice as many slaves as in the United States.
The Communist Party of Cuba is the political party in charge of the country. The country is now led by Raul Castro after his brother stepped down in 2011.
Cuban Food Background and Culture
Cuba was the first and last Spanish colony in the Caribbean. Because of its location and demographic, Cuban food has ties to Spain, the Caribbean, Native Americans, and Africa.
Chinese indentured servants lived in Cuba in the mid-1800s, totaling more than 100,000 Chinese men. Contrary to popular belief, rice did not originated in Cuba. The Chinese indentured servants brought it to the country during the peak of their imprisonment.
You won’t find much American influence in the food of Cuba. This is because of ill relations between the US and Cuba during the Cold War (between 1947-1991). Trade was cut off between the country, effectively cutting off all American influences.
Native Cuban Food
The climate of the country is conducive to tropical fruits and root vegetables. The country eats plenty of seafood due to its location on the ocean! The people also love rice and plantains, the favorite way of cooking being tostones, or twice fried plantains.
Beef is considered “perdido” in Cuba, meaning that it is almost nonexistent in the country. Read more about this interesting phenomenon here.
Coffee is taken very seriously in Cuba, and is served incredibly strong