Growing up in a Cuban household, there was one thing I knew how to do: Eat. There was nothing quite like gathering with the family around a huge dinner table, my mami and abuelita serving up platter after platter of good food. From staples like ropa vieja to classics like white rice and black beans to side dishes like fried sweet plantains, the foods that filled my tummy as a child were nothing if not delicious. Although I’ve since learned to appreciate food outside of the ones I grew up with, my mouth still waters are the mere thought of one of these dishes. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are the 12 foods that every Cuban grew up eating.
Scrambled eggs and rice for breakfast: In my house, we lived on scrambled eggs and rice for breakfast. Sometimes there was also a side of toast or fried sweet plantains, but there was nothing quite like taking last night’s leftover rice out of the fridge, then frying it up with some scrambled eggs. I honestly never realized there was anything weird about this breakfast concoction until a roommate in college said, “What’s that?!” and my fellow Cuban roommate said, “Oh, that’s breakfast.”