From its origins, Cuban cuisine is the result of the fusion of Spanish, African and Aboriginal customs, combined with the later Asian and Yucatecan immigration.
The national Cuban dish is the Creole Ajiaco, a group of vegetables and different types of meat cooked together. It varies according to the ingredients used. The typical Cuban dishes, besides the Ajiaco and different combinations with rice, are roasted or fried pork, tostones or chatinos (smashed and fried pieces of green plantain).
Cuban cuisine is based on basic ingredients in which tomato sauce, black beans, tubers (some exotic ones as yucca, malanga and name) and sofrito are the pillars. The sofrito is made of chopped onion, green peppers, garlic, oregano and pepper fried in olive oil, and is part of what entails the typical Cuban flavor.
Cuban food is generally healthy, and fried and creamy sauces are secondary. A typical Cuban breakfast consists of bread slices wet in café con leche, a combination of strong coffee with warm milk. The other two meals, lunch and dinner, usually includes a table full of food with dishes that mix white rice, beans, legumes, meat and salads.
The Spanish, Aboriginal, African and Caribbean cuisines influenced Cuban cuisine.
Some typical ingredients of Cuban food are: sugar, rice, wheat, beans, potatoes, bananas, mango, coffee, garlic, onion and other seasoning.
Besides, in some regions in Cuba, the use of seasoning, cooking types and the food itself show the influence of the French, English, American and Yucatecan cuisine.
The Aboriginal cuisine is still among the residents. In Cuba, Columbus and his sailors discovered for the very first time foods like corn, yucca, peanuts, sweet potato, pumpkins, peppers and yautía (a wild malanga species).
The fruits mostly used in Cuban food are custar apple, soursop, pineapple, caimito, sapote, anon, hicacos, guava and marañón.
From Africa, Cuba received ñame, malanga, plantain, quimbombo and the Guinea chicken. Dished like fufú, funche and tostones (chatinos or smashed green plantains). From African culture, Cubans adopted the custom to eat white rice mixed with other foods, fries and sauces.
The Spanish located at the south of the peninsula were the ones to arrive to Cuba on the first colony century, and also used to fry foods. Andalucía is an area were frying is common. The emigration of Spanish of Catalan culture in S.XIX enforced the consumption of rice in Cuba.
Cuban dishes are based on the large and variety of Spanish cuisine, fusioned with regional cuisine. This phenomenon is common in the Hispanic Caribbean.
The intense connection between the Caribbean lands is reflected in the existence of recipes that come from different areas. Despite congri, Moorish and Christians are really Cuban, the term come from Haiti.