One way to understand what it is like to be from a particular culture is to try their food. But if you are not able to actually visit that country to have an authentic dining experience, the next best bet is to make your own recipe that is designed to perfectly mimic what is typically consumed. For meat, you will need to understand how the meat is typically seasoned in order to create an authentic dish in a country such as Cuba. You could make rice and beans, which is one of the most common meals consumed in Cuba. But it can be more challenging to create an authentic dish that uses meat. Cuba uses cooking that is inspired by Spain and has African influences. Spices are essential for giving the Cuban food a Caribbean flair:
Roasted pork is a common option when meat rations are available. A sauce is often used on the pork that includes garlic, onion, bitter orange, oregano and oil. Lime juice sometimes substitutes bitter orange. This is a very tart orange.
The type of ingredients typically used for seasoning for beef include:
- Half an onion
- Half a pepper
- Two cloves of garlic
- Two tablespoons of cilantro
- One teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 and 1/2 bay leaves
- Salt added for taste
You may choose not to cook beef dish, though, because it is not a common ration.
Chicken and rice is the national dish of Cuba. A national dish is not necessarily a dish that was invented by that nation but is a dish that is considered a staple. There is a debate over whether this dish originated in Spain or Puerto Rico. The meat seasoning for this dish includes:
- Salt added to taste
- One bay leaf
- Five chopped cachucha peppers
- Pepper added to taste
- Two teaspoons of oregano
- One onion
- Cumin added to taste
Often, one bottle of beer is tossed in. There is some debate between Spain and Puerto Rico over whether beer is an essential ingredient to add to the dish.
While these are common ingredients used for these types of meats, the ingredients might vary. However, by using the most common ingredients, you will be more likely to have an experience that is close to the authentic experience. Then, if you have an opportunity to have an authentic dish from a Cuban chef, you can see how well your version matched with the version made by the chef.
Contact a company like Riley's Meat Seasoning Co. for more information and assistance.