Cuba's multiple ethnic influences are reflected in its food. The predominant seasonings in Cuban food are: oregano, cumin, cilantro and bay leaves. Meats are marinated in citrus juices. These impart a zesty flavor on the food and act as a tenderizer. Traditional dishes are heavy peasant food that's slow cooked (very important) and bursting with flavor. It is amazing. A symphony for the taste buds. The lack of heavy sauces is curious. Given all the French influence. Cuban recipes are simple. and genuine. It is comfort food at its best.
The base for most Cuban foods and stews is something called "sofrito." It's a tomato based concentrate with tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. This rich concoction gives Cuban food its fabulous flavors. Root vegetables are common in Cuban cuisine. There's yuca, malanga and boniato. These are usually accompanied by mojo-a citrus based dressing consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, raw onion, garlic, and cumin; it is normally served warm.