Cultured Palate: Dishes from Cuba

10. Frita

Even a basic burger is different in Cuba – on the island, give the frita a try. Instead of a store-bought burger patty, Cubans make their own out of ground meat seasoned with paprika and other spices, then slide that patty into a bun with fried shoestring potatoes for tons of crunch. Unlike many burgers, fritas are made on a flattop, not the grill. Fritas first appeared as a street food in Cuba in the 1930s and have remained a nostalgic favorite there to this day.

11. Torticas de Moron

These sweet little cookies hail from the town of Morón in central Cuba and are a popular bakery favorite all around the country. The base of these cookies is a simple sugar cookie dough flavored with lime with a little dot of guava paste in the center. Intensely sweet, torticas de moron cookies are often eaten with cream cheese for a savory kick.

12. Cucurucho

Another sweet Cuban treat is cucurucho, a delicacy that originates in the Baracoa province near the eastern tip of the country. Cucurucho is made with coconut flakes combined with coconut water and cooked into a sweet paste. Additional flavors can be added, such as nuts, fruit, and honey. The paste is tied into a cone made of palm leaves, and these little packages are hawked by street vendors in towns everywhere.

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