So much of Cuban culture is relayed through its cuisine, and the holidays are an incredible time to feast on traditional fare with family and friends. As opposed to roasted turkey or honey ham, the centerpiece to any Cuban holiday meal is the whole roasted pig. And instead of stuffing and yams, Cubans delight in black beans and rice and garlicky yuca. Read on for a full menu of traditional Cuban food during the holidays with all the trimmings.
Mojitos – This classic white rum drink is made with muddled mint and sugar cane.
Crema de Vie – This is the Cuban version of eggnog and is made with condensed milk, rum and sugar.
Spanish Cider – Whether it’s sparkling or flat, alcoholic or virgin, Spanish cider (or sidra) is a must during the holidays.
Croquetas – Made with pollo or jamon, these crispy fried potato dumplings make for mouth-watering appetizers before the main course.
Whole Roasted Pig – The roasted pig is a huge part of Cuban holidays and special occasions. It’s traditional to purchase a whole pig from the butcher to roast in the backyard in a caja china roasting box. Alternatively, smaller suckling pig is the perfect size to feed a smaller family.
Black beans and rice – Also called moros y cristianos, no Cuban meal is complete without a generous helping of black beans and rice.
Tostones – Tostones are savory fried plantains that can be dipped in various sauces for an absolutely scrumptious side dish.
Yuca con Mojo – Yuca is a root vegetable and a staple in the Cuban diet. They’re delicious sautéed in garlic and other savory sauces.
Arroz con Leche – Cuban rice pudding is a traditional way to end a holiday meal on a sweet note.
Buñuelos – These are Cuban pastries enjoyed at Christmastime. They can best be described as a cross between a doughnut and a beignet with a Cuban twist. And don’t forget to sprinkle them in powdered sugar.
Cake de Ron – A spongy rum cake is also a traditional sweet treat at any Cuban holiday feast.