foods which locals cook and consume on a daily basis. The food selections are
categorized by meal.
Breakfast is usually a small and quick meal in Cuba. The most common breakfast
foods are omelets ( tortillas ) served in a sandwich with some cheese ( queso ) and/
or ham ( jamon ). Bread ( pan ) with a generous dollop of butter ( mantequilla ) or a
bowl of fresh fruit is another common option.
A daily ritual for many Cubans involves buying a quick breakfast from a local fast
food stand on their way to work. A fresh omelet sandwich can usually be had for
about 3 to 5 pesos (MN). Cups of fresh squeezed juice ( jugo natural ) usually cost
only 2 pesos (MN). For those looking for a quick dose of sugar, homemade,
honey-glazed donuts are sold on almost every street corner. Shots of espresso
coffee usually cost only 1 peso (MN).
As the nation's economy improves, and as more independent food stands pop up,
it is becoming popular for Cubans, especially those with higher paying jobs, to
purchase lunches from local fast food restaurants. The most popular lunchtime
foods are sandwiches, as they are relatively inexpensive and quick to eat. Cuban
sandwiches usually consist of a fat loaf of crusty bread filled with sliced ham, cu-
cumber, and cheese. A tomato or some ketchup sauce is also usually added.
Dinner and Full Meals
In Cuba, the evening meal is the most important. It is a time when a large meal is
prepared and the whole family gathers around the dinner table to eat and talk.
This is a tradition that is still very active in Cuba.
The most common traditional Cuban dinner meals involve pork or chicken, served
with beans and rice. Most Cuban homes do not have an oven, only a small stove-
top and perhaps a slow cooker, so the meat portions are usually fried or stewed.
Pork is either breaded and fried ( escalope ) or fried plain ( bistec ). The chicken
may also be battered and fried or fried plain. A lemon-garlic sauce called mojo is
sometimes drizzled over the meat or used as a marinade, to add extra flavor. The
meat portions are usually small. The majority of the meal is composed of beans
( frijoles ) and rice ( arroz ). When red beans and rice are cooked together, the dish
is called congri . If black beans and rice are cooked together, the mix is called ar-
roz moro . On occasion, the beans and rice will be cooked separately and then
mixed together at the table. This dish is simply called arroz con frijoles.
A dish called ropa vieja is one of the most popular traditional dishes on the island.
It consists of a bed of rice and beans topped with a generous portion of stewed,