This Caribbean paradise is also filled with tempting desserts laced with tropical flavors that are sure to please even the most demanding sweet tooth. These easy Cuban desserts are made by halving guavas and baking them with a bit of sugar, water and lime zest. Guava, another local ingredient, is also a dominating flavor in deserts. In Cuba, a little cinnamon is usually added to the custard, and the dish includes the traditional caramel sauce of a classic Spanish flan. These five represent a taste of the island’s delicious after-dinner fare. Guavas aren’t that common in North American grocery stores, but they are easy to find in Cuba. A Puerto Rico native and former food service professional, Hector Rodriguez develops recipes inspired by the Caribbean and Latin America. When Cubans think of comfort food, they think of Grandma’s arroz con leche. This contraption was derived from Cubans watching Chinese laborers in Havana's Chinatown cooking their meals on makeshift wooden boxes with fires that placed the heat at the top of the box. A noteworthy Chinese influence on the food also cropped up in the Havana area in the mid-1800s. This is one of the most traditional Cuban desserts that you have to experience when you visit Cuba. Pastelitos de Guayaba means guava pastries. Pre-Columbian history. The Spanish brought cattle and pigs, which were incorporated into the foods. Cuba is an island 90 miles off the Florida coast. A wider distribution of sites date from after 2000 BC, most notably represented by the Cayo Redondo and Guayabo Blanco cultures of western Cuba. The island is home to many well-known dishes such as ropa vieja (a shredded beef stew) and moros y cristianos (black beans mixed with white rice). By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, Chinese Cultural Influences on Modern Caribbean Cuisine, Introduction to Latin Caribbean Culinary Tastes, Spain's Food and the 6 Different Culinary Regions. When Fidel Castro declared Cuba a Communist country, the island's ties strengthened with the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. Pastelitos de Guayaba means guava pastries. In Cuba, like most of the Caribbean, rum cakes are a traditional holiday dessert. Do you love nougat dessert bars? You won’t find any fast-food chains on this island. Then you’ll love Cuban turrones. Flan de Coco Coconut is always a fantastic addition to flan! By using this form, you give us permission to contact you and send you promotional tour offerings. Pair with a cup of Cuban coffee for a delicious morning snack. They rely heavily on condensed and evaporated milk. Cuban food, like the culture, is an accidental blend of native Taino, European (mostly Spanish with a splash of French and Portuguese) African, … 10 Items to Add to Your Bucket List, Things to Do in Varadero: The 8 Best-Rated Tourist Attractions, Know Before You Go: Everything You Need to Know About Cuban Culture, Taking a Stroll Through Havana: The Coolest Havana Neighborhoods You Need to Check Out. This Cuban desert is one you have to try. Guava helmets are a simple, everyday, Cuban dessert that you could often find in the homes of many locals after a weekday dinner. Cuba is legendary for its cigars, music, and rum. Because U.S. policy had forbidden trade with Cuba, the island has been forced to change its diet. This nutty bar is crunchy, sweet and filling. This simple dessert is found all over the world, especially in countries where rice is a staple. These 10 Cuban desserts are just a selection of some of the delicious traditional Cuban desserts you can experience on your next trip to Cuba. Flan is made out of sugar, an egg, several egg yolks, a can of both evaporated and sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. It is made by baking plantains, pecans, brown sugar, and raisins. Basically, this Cuban pastry is made of fried pastry balls topped with icing sugar, maple syrup or whipped cream. The beauty of this Latin American dessert is that it is so simple. In Cuba, like most of the Caribbean, rum cakes are a traditional holiday dessert. This efficient method left the traditional lechón asado (slow-roasted pork), soft and tender, which solidified the use of la caja china as a requisite at major Cuban festivities. The Spanish brought cattle and pigs, which were incorporated into the foods. It’s a delicious and sweet treat that you will want to eat every day. It is one of the most versatile of all Cuban recipes. A couple teaspoons of light rum and lime zest give these sugar cookies a tropical taste that is irresistible. © Copyright 2000-2020 insightCuba. For the cooks out there, it’s easy to find recipes for any of these desserts on the Internet. This buttery sweet casserole is decadent and soft. A number of dishes include seafood as it is readily abundant on the island. If you aren’t a big fan of filling and decadent desserts, you’ll love flan. Bunuelos de Viento means air fritters. This Cuban pastry is flaky, warm and filled with a mixture of cream cheese and guava. Beef and lard almost disappeared from the diet. It is a spongy, super moist cake that is soaked in three kinds of milk. Here’s a recipe for pastel de tres leches if you want to try it at home. Rice pudding doesn’t belong exclusively to Cuba. Check out this list of 10 Cuban desserts you must try. Cubans often take a slice of turron when they are on the go. Their sweet flavor is often featured in Cuban pastries and cookies, but one traditional recipe showcases only the fruit. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Hemingway in Cuba: 8 Facts About Hemingway’s Time in Cuba, What to Do in Havana? Cuba's earliest known human inhabitants colonized the island in the 4th millennium BC. Rice is one of the biggest staple foods not just of Cuba, but of all Latin America. Cuba can boast a huge variety of desserts which vary from mild and creamy Tres Leches and Flan, to fried and crispy Buñuelos, to sweet Guava pastries. Flan was originally a savory dish that dates back to ancient Rome until it was later adopted by the Spaniards and converted into a sweet custard. Jalea de Guayaba Yes, you can make your own guava jelly at home! Cuban cuisine is a blend of Native American Taino food, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines. Large groups of Chinese indentured laborers came from China to do the work formerly done by enslaved Africans when the enslavement of African people was outlawed. Cuban food is a great mingling of Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisines. Other popular starchy foods are plantains, bananas, and rice. This rolled sponge cake is filled with delicious guava jelly. New food products entered the Cuban diet like wheat, pasta, pizza, and yogurt. It’s a delicious and simple dessert that goes down smooth after a good meal. But the magic happens when you pour the combined three kinds of milk over the baked cake. All Rights Reserved. This will keep the edges from burning. There’s a whole world of amazing Cuban desserts! The fruit is then boiled for a long time with sugar and lime juice and finally served, smothered in the remaining syrup, with a soft white cheese or cream cheese. Your privacy is assured, 500 Old York Road, Suite 200 Jenkintown, PA 19046. This is the perfect dessert for milk lovers. Flan de Queso The Cuban version of cheesecake. And for once, has no milk! Deliciousness! If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll appreciate Cuban desserts. Cuba was cut off from its source of imports and had to find other sources to keep the economy going. In Cuba, authenticity is king. It is made with egg whites, sugar honey, chocolate, and nuts. Cubans love pizza, too. Many of the immigrants were from southern Spain; hence many Cuban dishes have their roots in Andalucia. Rice was actually considered a rarity for many years, as it was not native to Cuba or Spain. If you have a milk allergy, be sure to ask if they use butter in this recipe. Some dishes you might recognize are moros y cristianos (mixed black beans and rice) and pollo en salsa (chicken in sauce). It is made from evaporated milk, condensed milk, whole milk, cinnamon, sugar and possibly raisins. To make sure the cake absorbs the liquid, you first poke holes with a toothpick all over the baked cake. It is usually topped with fresh strawberries or a meringue icing.