Much has been said and written about Cuba, our neighbor 90 miles south of Florida. One thing is undeniable: Cuba is home to a rich and colorful culture full of life. The Cold War between the United States and Cuba significantly restricted travel to Cuba. In fact, the closest most people could ever get to Cuba was Miami. I went to Miami in 2008 and made sure to visit Little Havana, home to many Cuban immigrants, in order to get a taste of the Cuban scene—and wow—a taste is exactly what I got! I stumbled into a little Cuban eatery and tried the "Frita." The Frita is possibly the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my entire life! The Frita is a Cuban hamburger with seasoned meat like chorizo, topped with shoestring potatoes and served on Cuban bread—oh, boy—I’m getting hungry just writing about it. All in all, the food was great, the coffee was rich and the people were warm.
In December, the Obama administration and the Cuban government announced a rebuilding of relations between the two nations. This month they've loosened travel restrictions. Now you can do more than just eat the Frita—go meet the Cuban people! Start planning your trip now with these great resources:
Cuba: Foremost Cuban and Latin American expert Julia Sweig renders an authoritative and concise picture of the small island nation from pre-Fidel to today. A must-read if you are planning future travel to Cuba.
Buena Vista Social Club: This Grammy award-winning CD features a crème de la crème of Cuba's finest musicians. Buena Vista Social Club is done in the spirit of the classic Cuban Buena Vista Social Club of the 1930s and 1940s.
Cuba: From the streets of Havana to the lush countryside, this breathtaking book brings Cuba to life as Cuba should be: in stunning technicolor! Breathe in the essence of Cuba in this must-see tribute to the once forbidden island!
100% azucar!: Celia Cruz, born in Havana, is the undisputed queen of salsa. Get a sampling of some her greatest music here and discover what made her such an endearing figure and one of Cuban's finest musicians.
Cooking the Cuban Way: You don't have to travel to Cuba, or to Little Havana in Miami for that matter, to sample the culinary delights it has to offer. True foodies will love to explore these delicious authentic recipes.