Prensa Latina. Cuban Press agency
One of the more sought-after Cuban dishes by travelers from abroad is the “congri” rice, despite the fact that Europeans look askance at Cuban cuisine due to the high content in grease and condiments.
However, the “congri” can summarize in a stylized way, in the words of some chefs, the sense of eating in the traditional way, with the dish being an integral part of the Cuban diet. This is a common dish in countries in the Antilles, where it is accompanied by pieces of meat or fried pork skin.
It is rather well-known in the Caribbean countries, especially in Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Bahamas, Haiti, and quite strongly in Cuba, where it is considered a very popular recipe, with it being in the menu of luxury restaurants.
For some academics this way of eating rice and beans comes from Africa, due to a portmandeau of the words ‘congo’ and ‘riz’, with both coming from the Creole, one of the more spread dialects among Haitians, who are credited with the recipe.
In Cuba, during the independence war in the 19th century, the dish was known as ‘Volunteers (whitish) and Firemen (black)’, according to late dietitian Nitza Villapol.