6 foods and drinks you need to try in Cuba

Cigars, vintage cars, and music come to mind when people think of Cuba – not the food. On the biggest island in the Caribbean, food shortages and a lack of spices have created a reputation for bland, boring dishes. But the proliferation of privately owned restaurants, known as paladares, and a growing organic farming movement are revolutionizing the way people, especially visitors, eat in Cuba. It may not yet be a culinary destination in its own right, but you can leave the hot sauce at home.

A smart way to eat in Cuba is to stick with Cuban staples. Chefs who experiment with other cuisines – like French, Italian or Indian – often don’t have authentic ingredients stocked. At the very least, eating local food means you’ll never go hungry. From sweet street snacks like churros to the national dish ropa vieja, Cuban cuisine is nothing if not filling. And …