Lovely latin american recipes

Time Honored Latin American Recipes from Cuba

When most Americans hear Latin American recipes they automatically think of Mexican food. While Mexican food is delicious and well represented in most major U.S. cities (though conspicuously absent from Miami for some reason), there are also great Latin American recipes and dishes from other countries and you will be missing out if you donít know about them. One of the greatest countries for culinary delights and food completely different from Mexican food is the big island nation of Cuba.

Cuba, located just 90 miles off the southern tip of Florida in the warm waters of the Caribbean, has always been a Mecca for food lovers. Ever since the great author Ernest Hemingway went ex-pat and decided to spend the rest of his life there, living and fishing off the coast of Varadero and Havana, Cuba has attracted tourists and culture lovers from around the world. Even though the U.S. has had an embargo on the island since the 1960s when Castro plotted with the Soviets and built missile launch sites throughout the island, most of the rest of the world has not shared our disdain for the sovereign nation. Tourists, fun and adventure seekers from all over the world, and culinary gourmets have been coming to the island country for many, many years. They have discovered the wonderful traditional foods of Cuba, many of which owe their heritage to Spain and Africa, a powerful blend of old world and new.

One of the staples of everyday Latin American recipes from Cuba is the simple potaje (pronounced po-ta-he) or soup of black beans. Served over plain white rice, this simple dish is perfectly seasoned and served as a side dish with lots of other traditional Cuban fare such as fried plantains (sweet or salty), fritters, croquettes, or thinly cut French fries.

Another of the great and simple Latin American recipes is seasoned ground beef called picadillo (pronounced pick-a-diyo) and usually served over rice with the black bean potaje on the side. Some island chefs add whole or sliced green olives and/or raisins but most just leave it plain and simple. This is an addictive dish and when combined with the black beans and rice it is just simply wonderful home-cooked comfort food.

Cuban cuisine features many wonderful soups and stews, most of them dating back to the colonial days when Spanish influence was primary. Caldo de Gallego (literally translated as Broth of Galiceans) is made with whole white beans and collard greens and is definitely one of the most prized of Latin American recipes. Other traditional Cuban soups include Sopa de Lentejasî (lentil soup) and Sopa de Albondigasî (meatball soup).

Cuban food has found its way into the hearts of many Americans over the years, especially in the bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles with their larger Cuban immigrant populations. Almost all Cuban restaurants will have some fun salsa music on the weekends and you can bring a bunch of friends and really have a great time.