From Cuba to The Dominican Republic
Ahhh, the wonderful smell of Latin Christmas foods in the Caribbean. Keep reading to find dishes, main appetizers, and desserts we use to celebrate not only Nochebuena but also throughout the Christmas season including the Epiphany on January 6 in the Caribbean from Cuba to The Dominican Republic.
The three main islands utilize different foods for the main course during “Nochebuena,” for example “lechón asado” -barbecued pig in Cuba is the top dish and a “must,” “niño envuelto” -stuffed cabbage in the Dominican Republic, and roasted pork in Puerto Rico are the most typical Latin Christmas foods in the Caribbean.
Hispanic Christmas foods in Cuba besides the “lechón asado” include “moros y mristianos” -black beans and rice, “tostones” -made of fried green plantain, and “yuca” with garlic.
Cubans have very tasty desserts like “arroz con leche” -rice pudding very common through out Hispanic America, “boniatillo” -a sweet potato pudding, and of course “buñuelos” -fritters.
What do they drink? Simple my friend “cuba libre” -invented there, and is the mix of rum and coke and the famous “mojito Cubano,” a drink made of rum and mint.
Puerto Ricans serve the roasted pork with rice with “gandules” -beans, “tostones” similar to the Cubans, and “pasteles” -tamales made with meat and wrapped in banana tree leaves.
The “lechón asao” takes all day long to cook therefore Puerto Ricans make a great event around it and it is not only for Christmas Eve. To marinate the pig they make a sauce by combining garlic, sweet seeded chili peppers, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil and salt.
For dessert Puerto Ricans serve sweet confections such as “tembleque”, “arroz con dulce”, “rosca de Reyes”, and vanilla and coconut “flan.”
Latin Christmas drinks in the Caribbean include “ponche” in Cuba besides the “Mojito Cubano” and the “Cuba Libre,” and “coquito” in Puerto Rico which have similar ingredients to eggnog. Slight recipe variations from country to country seal the drink’s own personality. The majority of these drinks use evaporated milk, egg yolks, rum, and condensed milk.