“Torticas de Moron”, a traditional Cuban dessert

"Torticas de Moron", a traditional cuban dessert

A delicious and very popular recipe

In this article, we want to provide you with one of the most famous sweet recipes in Cuba. The “Torticas de Moron”, a traditional Cuban dessert originated in Morón, the center of Cuba. Traditionally the cookies are made with lard or vegetable shortening.

Please, see below our “Torticas de Moron”, a traditional Cuban dessert that you should know.

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 spoons of preserves of guava or jam
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 bars (1 cup) of unsalted butter

Procedure

  1. First, you must mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Next, in an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed for 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy. Then, add the egg and continue beating for 1 more minute. Finally, you can add the rum and the lemon peel.
  3. Third, you should add the flour mixture to the creamy butter and stir with a spatula. Once manually removed, replace the container in the holder and mix at the lowest speed. Next, you must shape the dough and make 2 equal discs. Then, you should put them in the fridge until they are firm (2 hours minimum). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Once the previous steps are completed, use a cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place them on the baking sheet. Using a small teaspoon make a small slit in the center of each cookie. Chill the cookies until they are firm, 5 minutes while preparing the guava filling.
  5. For the guava, melt the preserves over low heat in a small saucepan for 5 minutes.
  6. Put about 1/4 teaspoon of melted guava in the center of each cookie, do not fill it too much. Finally, bake the cookies until the edges are lightly browned.

We recommend you to cook our “Torticas de Moron”, a traditional Cuban dessert if you want to surprise your family and friends. They will be really happy!

Also, an interesting option that we suggest you is to visit the country and have the opportunity to taste this recipe and others. Please, be in mind that you need a Cuba holiday visa to access the country.

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Black beans, a typical Cuban recipe

Black beans a typical Cuban recipe

The typical Cuban flavors

In this article, we will tell you a great homemade recipe step by step. The main ingredients are the “Frijoles negros” or black beans. Please, see below the ingredients and the procedures to cook our black beans, a typical Cuban recipe.

Ingredients

  • 450 gr of black beans.
  • 4 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
  • 100 ml olive oil.
  • 1 onion.
  • 2 liters of water.
  • 1 red pepper.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • A few leaves of coriander.
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar.
  • 100 ml white wine.
  • Salt.

Preparation

  1. First of all, we put in a saucepan the black beans, 2 liters of water, half red pepper, the cilantro, the bay leaf, the cumin and the oregano. If the beans are tender, it is not necessary to soak them, but if it is the contrary, we will soak them until they swell.
  2. On the other hand, we recommend you to use a pressure cooker since the cooking time will be less (30 min approx). Otherwise, if you use a conventional pan it will take 45 minutes.
  3. Then, while the black beans soften, prepare a sauce. To do this, we must peel the garlic and mix it with salt and ground black pepper. Then, cut the onion very small and 1/2 pepper.
  4. Do not forget to heat 80 ml of olive oil in a pan. When the pan is hot, we add the garlic “crushed” with salt and pepper, and then the onion and pepper until poached.
  5. Then, after 45 minutes of cooking the black beans, add the sauce. After this time, we incorporated vinegar, wine, paprika and sugar and left for the last 15 minutes in the fire.
  6. Finally, we add the remaining olive oil (about 20 ml) mix and rectify salt.

We hope the article “Black beans, a typical Cuban recipe” has been useful and interesting for you. We encourage you to cook this recipe or if you prefer you can visit beautiful Cuba to taste it.

Please, take note that if you travel to this country you will need a Cuba travel visa.

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Cuba is present in the First Latin American Pizza Championship

Cuba present in the First Latin American Pizza Championship

The first Latin American Pizza Championship

Last Wednesday, June 5, the city of Buenos Aires celebrated the First Edition of the Latin American Pizza Championship. It involved 11 countries and more than 36 chefs. The event had broad participation and a high technical level.

The championship was organized by the Association of Owners of Pizzerias and Empanadas Houses of the Argentine Republic (APPYCE). In the competition, there were professionals from Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Cuba, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Argentina.

The winner of the Championship

Firstly, it is necessary to announce that the Colombian Eduardo Castro became the winner of this Championship. After winning, he will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 World Championship in Parma (Italy).

Certainly, Eduardo Castro had already traveled to Italy to serve as a waiter and offer catering services. He worked in a restaurant in the city of Rimini 20 years ago. Then, ten years after, he returned to Colombia to open his first restaurant, a business that expanded to include seven pizzerias today.

On the other hand, the second place of the championship corresponded to the Argentinean Brian Aguilar, and Diego Borges obtained the third place.

Finally, Argentina has a great fondness for pizza due to the wave of Italian immigrants arriving in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is the first country that organizes an event of this kind, supported by the Pizza World Championship.

We recommend you to do a tour in some American Latin countries. Also, we hope you have the opportunity to go through the Italian restaurants of the winner of the First Edition of the Latin American Pizza Championship.

The last thing to keep in mind is that if you travel for example to Cuba you will need to apply for Cuba visa. Most Latin American countries will require a visa.

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Traditional recipe: Boniatillo borracho

Traditional recipe: Boniatillo borracho

Cuban recipe

The main ingredient of this dessert is the sweet potato. This is a plant-based food with easy digestion. It has a sweet and smooth flavor. In Cuba, they cook it boiled and fried. Next, you can read our traditional recipe: Boniatillo borracho.

Ingredients:

– 2 pounds of sweet potato
– 2 cups of water
– 1 lemon
– 2 pounds of sugar
– ¼ teaspoon of salt
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 2 egg yolks
– ½ cup of sweet wine or liquor
– 2 tablespoons of rum

Preparation method:

1. First, boil the sweet potatoes until they are soft.

2. Next, make a syrup with sugar, water, and a few drops of lemon juice. You should not stir the syrup while it is on the fire.

3. Next, mash the hot sweet potatoes and add the syrup. Pass it all through a sieve.

4. Add salt and egg yolks.

5. Cook it by stirring until it thickens. Lower the temperature and add the butter, and when it melts add the sweet wine or liquor and rum.

6. Finally, serve it in dessert plates and sprinkle with cinnamon.

We hope you cook this recipe with your family or you visit Cuba and taste this dessert and many more. If you choose the second option, do not forget to apply for an online Cuba visa to enter the country.

Apply for Cuba E-Visa

Fly to Cuba from The United States

Fly to Cuba from The United States

How to organize a trip to Cuba from the US?

It is a fact that Cuba is one of the newest international destinations served from the United States. Certainly, the first flight to Cuba from the United States was in 2016. It is necessary to mention that the US people are prohibited to travel as a tourist to Cuba. For this reason, fly to Cuba from the United States is difficult.

Who can travel to Cuba?

People who travel with the purpose of conducting certain business activities. It is regulated by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

What aircraft are flying to Cuba?

We confirm you that most aircraft flying to Cuba are narrowbody aircraft and regional jets on certain routes. Most are Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, while others are narrowbodies like the CRJ-900 and E190 aircraft.

The decline of flights to Cuba

When Cuba was first opened for flights to the United States, airlines rushed to add service. Unfortunately, since then, Alaska Airlines, Silver Airways, and Frontier canceled service to Cuba. Beyond that, American Airlines canceled its flights between Charlotte and Havana and JetBlue has cut capacity to Cuba by operating smaller aircraft.

Airlines aren’t making money flying to Cuba. In reality, airlines were anticipating the growth of tourism between the United States and Cuba, probably through reduced geopolitical tensions. However, there is not a huge demand for flights to and from Cuba.

Best options

Certainly, if you want to go to Cuba from the United States, you have different options. Out of Florida, you will find flights to Cuba out of multiple gateways. This includes flights to smaller destinations in Cuba.

In addition, if you are a foreign national, you will probably find it easier to fly out of a European gateway. Quite a few airlines operate service from Europe to various destinations in Cuba.

Finally, do not forget you will need a visa if you travel to Cuba.

Apply for Cuba E-Visa

Live in Cuba in the current world political scenario

Live in Cuba in the current world political scenario

The current situation in Cuba

Unfortunately, the tension between the USA and Cuba is causing consequences on the population. People wonder and wait with fear the next actions and decisions of the government on both sides.

It is a reality that the people who live in Cuba in the current world political scenario is truly suffering.

Certainly, due to the fear of scarcity, life is harder this year 2019. The population is afraid to relive the “Special Period“.

Certainly, the “special period” was a very hard period for the Cuban economy in the 1990s. This incident was related to the fall of the Soviet Union. It was his largest economic partner and buyer of its sugar. Unfortunately, it represented a financial crisis and in addition, was complicated by the seizure that the United States has imposed on the island since 1962, which prevents trade with Cuba.

It is a fact that austerity measures during the 1990s (food and oil rationing) led several Cubans to throw themselves into the sea.

Buy in a supermarket

There were moments of chaos that Cuban society was in great pain, strength, and resilience. In this situation, Cuba had to open up to tourism to survive. This action was very useful because tourists brought money and people sympathized with the suffered population.

The Cold War imposed strategies such as the “dry feet and wet feet“. The “dry feet” policy allowed Cubans who arrived illegally and touched American soil to receive immediate asylum. On the other hand, the “wet feet”, said that people who did not step on American soil would be returned to Cuba. Barack Obama withdrew this measure, but now Donald Trump has decreased it.

Unfortunately, Washington blockade continues and Trump’s government has plans to apply a law so that federal courts can be used to sue Cuba.

In the current political scenario, the great partner, Venezuela, is in a complex situation. It pays for Cuban medical services and provides fuel, but it is becoming difficult.

Finally, in Cuba, almost all of the food consumed is imported. Given the complicated economic situation, the intermittency of supply is permanent, whether due to delays in payments or the difficulties of the blockade.

We have to try to understand how people live in Cuba in the current world political scenario. Obviously, if you travel to Cuba, you will know the real situation.

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Recipe: Cuban ropa vieja

Recipe: Cuban ropa vieja

Ropa vieja is a really good and traditional recipe that consists of a mix of ingredients. It is very popular in Cuba.

Cuban Ropa Vieja (6 pax)

Ingredients:

  • A piece of skirt meat.
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 4 cloves of garlic.
  • 3/4 cup dry wine.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 2 medium peppers (one red and one green).
  • 1 spoonful of full seasoning.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika.
  • A cup tomato puree.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 large onion.

Preparation:

  1. Firstly, you must cook the piece of meat skirt in a pressure cooker. You should cook it with water to cover it, a pinch of salt and bay leaves for 20 minutes after it starts boiling.
  2. On the other hand, if you cook it in a conventional casserole, the cooking time will be approximately 2 hours.
  3. Then, once it is cooked, you should wait for it to cool and drain. Reserve that broth where it was cooked. At this moment, crumble or fray.
  4. Next, you must prepare a good sauce. For this, heat in a deep pan, the oil and add the onion and the peppers that previously cut in small squares and crushed garlic.
  5. Then add the rest of ingredients: tomato puree, spices, dry wine, and a little the broth in which you cooked the meat. Finally, incorporate the frayed meat.
  6. You stir everything well and let it cook for about 10 minutes with medium heat.
  7. It is ready to eat!

We recommend you to prepare this recipe and continue to learn more about the gastronomic culture of Cuba.

The closure of part of the Malecón, La Habana

The Cuban Government announces the closure of part of the Malecón

A tragic accident

The Cuban Government announced the closure of part of the Malecón de la Habana, Cuba, due to the tragic accident occurred in that area on Sunday 19th May. The accident left 5 dead and more than 20 wounded.

A driver lost the control and broke into the sidewalk of the northern path of the Malecón. The Havana Roads Commission said that the driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol and was traveling with excessive speed when he caused the dramatic loss.

As a result of this fact, the measure will be in effect from 9 pm and until the cultural activities scheduled on Malecón Avenue conclude. The Road Safety Commission specified that the closure of the avenue includes the stretch from Peña Pobre Street to 15th Street.

It is necessary to mention that there will be alternative routes. For example, some bus routes of the local transport will be able to circulate at night during the weekends.

Accidents in Cuba

This traffic accident is part of a wave of misfortunes in Cuba. In 2018 there were 10,070 accidents, 683 dead and 7,730 injured according to the National Road Safety Commission.

Effectively, Cuba has a high rate of traffic accidents due to the vehicles in circulation are more than 20 years old and has precarious maintenance. Certainly, during the mandatory inspections in 2018, they detected technical deficiencies in 44% of the vehicles.  In addition, more than 36,000 vehicle circulation permits that did not have the technical revision updated were withdrawn.

In conclusion, Cuba is imposing measures to prevent further human misfortunes.

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Recipe: the spectacular Congrí Rice from Cuba

Recipe: the spectacular Congrí Rice

A typical dish of Cuba

This rice is one of the most famous dishes in Cuba. It is true that there are many different ways of cooking it, depending on the region of the country. Certainly, all have their charm, so when you eat it you can savor this mix of ingredients. Below, you can find our own recipe: the spectacular Congrí Rice.

Congrí Rice

Ingredients (4 pax):

  • 1 cup small grain black beans.
  • 2 cups white rice.
  • 1 white onion.
  • 2 cups of black bean broth.
  • 1/2 green bell pepper.
  • 1/2 chilli red pepper.
  • 4 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1 large bay leaf.
  • 4 spoons of vegetable oil or butter.
  • Salt.
  • A splash of vinegar.
  • 2 tablespoons oil.

Preparation:

  1. One day before, soak the black beans. The next day, cook them with the same soaking water, bay leaf, a piece of chilli and a pinch of salt until they are soft.
  2. Then, once they are warm and you can handle them, measure 2 cups of the broth and leave the beans separately.
  3. Next, heat the oil and sauté the chopped onion, the chili pepper and 2 of the crushed garlic cloves. Stir until the onion looks clear, about 5 minutes.
  4. Then, you should add the rice to the sofrito and stir it well for a few seconds. Once impregnated everything went to the next step.
  5. Now it’s time to add the beans and stir everything until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  6. Then you can add the previously measured broth, plus cumin, oregano and salt.
  7. Finally, you should keep the fire high until it starts to boil. At this time, you stir it and lower the potency, leaving it to simmer, until the rice is soft.
  8. The last essential step is to fry the other 2 cloves of crushed garlic with the 2 extra spoonfuls of fat and add it to the cooked rice.
       

We hope you have learned a little more about this culinary culture and decide to visit Cuba!

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La Habana Vieja, discover it!

La Habana Vieja, discover it!

What to see on a city tour?

If your favorite places to visit are museums, you have something to enjoy in La Habana, Cuba. The mainly tours in this city includes some museums.

1. Museum of Colonial Art

It is a beautiful museum located at the entrance of the Plaza, where you are generally blinded by the grandeur of the magnificent cathedral. It was built in 1720, originally for the purpose of the residence of the Counts of Casa Bayon.

In 1969 it was restored and since then it has opened its doors to visitors as a Museum of Colonial Art, which, although relatively small, but very rich in dishes, sculpture and historical furniture.

2. Museum of Navigation

It is located a few steps from the moat of the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, in Plaza de Armas. It has an interesting routes that illuminate the historical aspects of the fortress and the historic center of Old Havana.

3. City Museum

Everything is nearby, near the Plaza de Armas, so your walk is rich, without having to travel long distances. This museum dates back to 1770 and was built on the site of the original Havana church.

4. Card house

It was opened in May 2001 and it is located on the ground floor of the 17th century Prado Amero Marquise House, the oldest building in the square. It is an interesting and unusual offer, with more than 2.000 cards from around the world, dating back to the 19th century.

What else can you know walking in La Habana Vieja?

Some of the beauties that are this beautiful capital are impressive from the outside and contain incredible treasures.

Firstly, an special attraction is the Cathedral of San Cristobal de la Habana, the most famous of the eleven Catholic cathedrals on the island of Cuba. It is in the Plaza de la Cathedral, in the center of Old Havana.

The Cathedral was built in the baroque architectural style. Also, it has several Tuscan elements and has the peculiarity of being built mainly preserved marine fossils.

On the other hand, you can also visit the Castle of the Royal Force and the Palace of the General Captains. Another places include two streets: Calle Obispo and Calle Mercaderes.

Finally, we propose you to visit the Church and Monastery of San Francisco de Asís and the famous Old Square.

We hope you travel to Cuba and have the opportunuty to visit La Habana and discover the culture.

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