Written by Kieran

Avoid These Types Of Foods In Cuba

You need to be very careful what and where you eat in Cuba. If you don’t see a Cuban eating ...

You need to be very careful what and where you eat in Cuba. If you don’t see a Cuban eating a particular type of food, you shouldn’t either.

Any food where you cannot easily identify the meat that is being served should be avoided. Here’s the types of foods I won’t eat in Cuba.

Don’t Eat Hamburgers In Cuba

Hamburgers use ground meat in patties. The meat used is often at the end of, or past, its useable life span. And will likely make you sick.

The patties in hamburgers start their life as steak or some other cut of meat. Then once they are too old for steak, are shredded and used for other foods. Once they’re then too old for other foods they are ground into patties for hamburgers. Along with offal.

Hamburger patties are a lucky dip. You’ll be lucky if you don’t end up sitting on the toilet while holding a bucket.

Beware Of Stewed Meats In Cuba

Any meat that you cannot easily identify, you should not eat. If you’re not getting Ropa Vieja or some other stewed meat from a reputable supplier (high class hotel or official restaurant) you should not eat it.

When Cubans boil and stew all their meats to overcome quality issues, they will be unlikely to make you sick. But you might later learn that your Ropa Vieja was actually ‘Rover’ Vieja.

You might later find out that the Ropa Vieja you were served is actually dog meat or some other mystery meat. See the below video for an example of why you should avoid mystery meats.

Beware Of Ice In Cuba

Ice or ‘hielo’ (pronounced ‘yellow’) might not be filtered water despite what the restaurant says. Cuba has lead pipes and older style plumbing. Any water that isn’t filtered or bottled should not be consumed.

Because you can never be certain where the ice has come from, or what water was used you should avoid ice. The exception to this rule is from large hotel chains and upmarket restaurants. Everywhere else you should order your drink ‘sin hielo’ (pronounced ‘sin yellow’).

I will only order drinks like Canchanchara that use ice when I know the establishment and trust it.