17 Cuban Recipes You’ve Gotta Try ASAP

You might notice that Cuba and its cuisine borrow a lot of influence from Spain (it was the first and last colony in the region, after all), as well as from African and Caribbean traditions. The island nation’s staple foods, like riceblack beans, and hearty root vegetables, are key components to many traditional dishes, and you can see them all beautifully represented just by digging into a bowl of ropa vieja (the national dish of Cuba). In Cuba, ropa vieja is traditionally served with steamed rice and black beans. If you want to go all in, you could even whip up a batch of maduros (fried sweet plantains), which are another Cuban specialty.

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