Cuban food is a blend of Spanish, African, Native Taino, and Caribbean ingredients and cooking styles. Other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America also have a cuisine based around comida criolla, all with slight variations on similar dishes. If you want to understand Cuban cooking, though, you need to know the island’s idiosyncrasies.
Typical Cuban dishes are highly seasoned and not spicy. The cuisine is often centered around cuts of meat that have marinated for hours or even the day before cooking. While many cultures add sauce after the meat is cooked, Cubans let the flavors soak in by slowly cooking and heavily marinating chicken, pork, and beef for extra depth and complexity.