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Cuban Vs. American Food: A Comparison Between Cuban And American Cuisine

We all have our own opinions when it comes to food, and choosing between Cuban or American food will be subjective.

We are here to break down the differences between these two types of cuisine in hopes that you can make an informed decision before you order your next meal.

Let’s check it out!

What is special about Cuban food?

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The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History
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Cuban food is a mix of Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines.

It brings together the three regions with their different cultures, flavors, and ingredients to create something unique but familiar on its own.

Cuban food is usually made up of meats such as pork and chicken that are slow-cooked with vegetables in a mojo sauce or marinade.

Cuban cuisine has a lot of rice, beans, and plantains which are usually fried or boiled before being mashed into a paste.

Yuca is often used as the main ingredient for the dough that makes up empanadas.

They also add citrus juices or zests to their meat dishes.

There is also an abundance of fresh tropical fruits and seafood as Cuba is known as the largest island country in the Caribbean Sea.

Their dishes are full of spices like cumin, paprika, garlic, and oregano.

What is special about American food?

American Cooking: State-by-State Iconic Recipes
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The United States is a melting pot of different cultures, as the name of the country implied.

American cuisine, therefore, is a perfect blend of many cuisines in the world and varies from region to region.

The first thing to mention is the variety of foods available in this country.

From seafood and Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, to Southern favorites like fried chicken and cornbread, Americans have a diverse diet with plenty of options for everyone.

American food strongly relies on dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, or cream, making their dishes have a creamy and buttery taste, but also high in calories.

Americans are usually very busy with their jobs, therefore, they prefer convenience, sometimes even over flavor.

Instead of having to spend time in the kitchen for hours preparing and cooking, they can buy canned food or processed food, or visit a fast-food restaurant for a quick and hearty meal.

However, we have to admit that Americans have started to care about their health.

Therefore, they usually combine more green or fruity salads with their meat-based dishes.

When it comes to shopping for canned food, organic ingredients and gluten-free or GMO-free will be their priority.

What are the differences between American food vs Cuban food?

There are many differences that set American food apart from Cuban food, here are some typical ones:

American cuisine strongly relies on processed food while Cuban cuisine uses more fresh ingredients

Processed and canned food is a staple in American cuisine.

The reason is this kind of product helps them reduce a lot of time in the kitchen but still has a hearty and nutritious meal.

However, canned food also poses a threat to Americans’ health because it is usually high in sodium and cholesterol.

On the other hand, Cuban cuisine uses more fresh ingredients that can easily be found in their homeland and sea.

Cuban food is more flavorful with a lot of spices

Cuban cooking uses different kinds of spices that make their food much more flavorful.

Some common seasoning spices are garlic, cumin, bay leaf, oregano, cilantro, citrus fruits, or pepper flakes.

Meanwhile, American food mainly uses salt and pepper to marinade its ingredients.

American food is heavier and uses many dairy products

Another difference between Cuban food and American food is that American food is usually heavier for your stomach.

They use more meat and dairy products in their recipes, therefore, the food seems to be a bit harder to digest.

On the other hand, Cuban food doesn’t include dairy products like milk or cheese, so it is much lighter.

Rice and plantains are staples in Cuban cuisine while bread and mashed potatoes are more common in America

Cubans eat rice in every meal, along with beans and plantains.

Meanwhile, Americans serve their dishes with bread, or pasta, and mashed potatoes.

These carbs are popular throughout the country.

Rice is just mainly used in Asian families or other immigrant cultures that eat rice in America.

What are the similarities between American food vs Cuban food?

Besides some key differences between American food and Cuban, these two cuisines also have some features of cooking in common.

Americans and Cubans have cucumber pickles

Both cuisines enjoy pickled vegetables, especially cucumber.

They serve this dish with other meat-based dishes to reduce the greasy feeling and enhance the flavor of the dish by offering a sweet and sour taste and a crunchy texture.

Sandwiches are a popular dish for breakfast or at any time of the day in both cuisines

Sandwiches are one of the most popular dishes in Cuba as well as in the United States.

This dish is usually made of ham, shredded roasted pork, or any kind of meat, with pickles and cheese.

There might be plenty of variations for the fillings of the sandwich, but they all taste great and are quick to make.

Beans are a staple in Cuban and American food

Beans are mainly consumed in any part of Cuba or America.

This legume ingredient is usually stewed or baked to achieve a tender texture.

In Cuba, they serve beans with rice and other meaty ingredients as a national dish.

In American, baked beans are a popular side dish.

Which one is better?

The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and HistoryAmerican Cooking: State-by-State Iconic Recipes
The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and HistoryAmerican Cooking: State-by-State Iconic Recipes
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In the end, it’s up to you to choose which cuisine is best.

But now that you know more about them both, hopefully, your decision will be easier than ever before.

Cuban food has a lot of Latin influences, which are evident in the traditional dishes like ropa vieja or Cuban-style black beans and rice.

If you’re looking for something more Americanized then order from an American restaurant instead because they have burgers.

We hope this article helped you make your decision about whether to visit a Cuban or American restaurant next time you’re hungry.

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