Empanadas — A Central Element In Cuban Fare

If you're interested in visiting a Cuban restaurant, you'll get a chance to enjoy a variety of dishes that you likely haven't experienced in the past. One item that will almost certainly be on the menu is empanadas. While this meal is popular in a variety of Latin American countries, it's a staple of Cuban cuisine. There might be a variety of other items on the menu that entice you, but it's worthwhile to try an order of empanadas, whether you get some to share with your dining companion as an appetizer or eat them yourself as the main course. Here are some things to know about this Cuban fare.

What's Inside

One of the best things about this pastry dish is that it can have several different ingredients inside of the pastry. Lots of empanadas have meat inside them, and you'll often find that beef and chicken are popular. There are also vegetarian empanadas in several restaurants, so this variation may be appealing if you seek to avoid eating meat. Onions, corn, raisins, vegetables, and many other diverse ingredients are often present in empanadas, and this dish is often spiced with cumin and other spices that are popular in Cuban cuisine.

What It's Served With

At some restaurants, you can simply order a plate of empanadas — which can be a good choice if you feel as though you'll love this food and don't particularly feel compelled to eat something else. However, it's also common for other food items to be served with empanadas. Sometimes, you'll encounter a wide range of dip options that are available. If the empanada is spiced heavily, a yogurt-based dip can be cooling on your palate. You'll also find empanadas that are served with a side of rice and beans, which is another popular Cuban dish.

Taking Them To Go

Depending on the type of Cuban restaurant that you're visiting, as well as the type of dining experience that you want, you'll often have the choice if sitting down to eat or taking your food at a to-go counter. The latter can be a fun experience when you're ordering empanadas, especially if you're on a vacation. This food is easy to eat on the go, so whether you're sightseeing or you just want to find a spot on the sidewalk and watch the sights around you while you eat, this can be a perfect food for you.