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Cuban Mixed Salad - Ensalada Mixta

Jorge: Restaurants all over Havana traditionally served various versions of this salad.

Raúl: It is a very traditional salad, and for lunch, it's almost a complete meal in itself.

Glenn: We say almost, because what meal is complete without dessert and a Cuban coffee?

Jorge: Many Cuban households use canned asparagus spears in this dish. If you really want to a fanatic, go ahead and use the canned spears.

Glenn: However, the fresh grilled asparagus can't be beat!

Cuban Mixed Salad -- Ensalada Mixta

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Sure, it is a great place to party and for most tourists, Key West is all about Piña coladas and Jimmy Buffet. After a hot day in the sun in Key West, the cool evening brings the nightly sunset festival on Mallory pier and a mile-long block party along historic Duval Street. With sun, sand, and fishing in the daytime and a lively party scene at night, it is easy to forget the great Cuban heritage of Key West. Cubans have been living in Key West for more than 150 years.

Florida and the Keys have been forever connected to Spain. Even the name Key West is a transcription of the island's original Spanish name, "Cayo Hueso" so named for the human bones found in local Indian burial mounds. Early Spanish explorers led by Ponce de Leon came to Florida in 1513 and claimed it for the Spanish crown. Although France and England laid claim to it at varying times, Spain held Florida and the Keys through much of its colonial history until 1815 when Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

In the early 19th century, the business of Key West was wrecking and marine salvage. Shallow waters and the nearby coral reefs led to scores of offshore shipwrecks. Salvaging ships that had run aground became a profitable venture that employed hundreds of sailors recently arrived from New England states.


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Over the years, one glue that has helped keep Calle Ocho whole is the quaint and funky restaurants that have kept the locals coming back to Little Havana for Latin American comfort food.

Cubans have been living in Key West for more than 150 years

Admit it, when you think of Key West, you're probably thinking about something like this!

You might think that the piñata is strictly a Mexican tradition. According to Raúl Musibay, "In Cuba we had our own. They were made with cardboard and colored-paper. We stuffed them with candy and prizes. Many people made them in the shape of American cartoon characters. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were very popular."

"Most of the homemade ones were not as elaborate," Castillo adds. "Something as simple as a cylinder made to look like a drum, or two round boxes made to resemble a cowboy hat."

"I went to a party once where the piñata was a huge white swan -- it was enormous," Musibay says.

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How come no one ever breaks a Cuban piñata?


Three Guys From Miami Show You How to Make the Best Cuban, Spanish, and Latin American Food!

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