A Memorable Meal in Cuba

Written by Sophia Bass

If you’re a seafood lover, you will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of delicious seafood Cuba has to offer. Lobster, fish, shrimp, scallops….seafood was endless on the Caribbean island. I was in awe of the complexity of flavors and spices that were incorporated into each dish which has inspired me to cook Cuban food in my home. There was one dish in particular that continues to resonate with me even months after returning to the U.S.

After four nights in Havana, I decided to travel to Playa Larga which is located on the Southern part of Cuba. Playa Larga is close to a small town, known for fishing more than anything. A typical dinner for a local family consisted of pescado (fish) , camerones (shrimp), or chicken and pork with a side of rice and portion of vegetables.

The first night, my boyfriend and I stayed in a beautiful local beach casa and were told that the best meal was three houses down from ours. A man at our hotel said we could get lobster for $10 US dollars with everything included. It sounded like an incredible deal considering this would be a $30-$40 dollar dinner in the U.S.

We walked over the restaurant at sunset and ordered the lobster, and the dish was more in quantity than I had imagined. A lobster tail the size of four small tails, including squash, rice, a homemade vegetable and chicken soup, and large slices of avocado and salad.

This dish was particularly important to me while in Cuba as it portrayed how the locals in Playa Larga are eating and sourcing their food. Just an hour before we ate, the family caught the lobster we were eating in the ocean right in front of their house. Using local avocados and vegetables for the side dishes, the meal could not have been more fresh. This was my most memorable meal in Cuba.


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