Cuban Influence, Key West
I loved the authentic Cuban food that I tried in Key West. Be sure to stop by one of the popular Cuban restaurants here for lunch or dinner. I would recommend the El Siboney Restaurant located at 900 Catherine Street.
I guide you to a nice properly made mojito and a cuban cigar while watching the sun set....or rise...whatever you prefer! Anything goes in Key West. I like to make my mojito by adding lots of mint to bottom of pint glass, two slices of lime, a few swirls of simple syrup (melted sugar/water) and then crushing this at the bottom of glass. Squeeze a little FRESH lime into it. (Muddle or muttle, I'm not sure.) Add 2 shots of rum (AT LEAST!) and fill with ice. Shake vigorously!!! Then pour slowly back into pint glass and simultaneously add club soda. You need to get enough soda in there to give a fresh carbonated touch, but I find the rum competes in my recipe. Do find the delicate balance.
About the cuban cigar, well that's up to you to find...
When visiting Key West, it is almost impossible not to notice the proliferation of Cuban shops and restaurants. The Cuban influence in Key West may surprise many people, but its not so shocking considering that the island is only 90 miles from Key West.
Cuban immigrants began arriving in Key West in the 1868 with the War of Independence from Spain. This migration caused a population explosion on the tiny island.
In the late 1900s, many Cubans migrated to the United States after Fidel Castro came into power. Some of these immigrants chose Key West as their home, and the influence is ever present. The Cuban culture extends to cuisine, music and stores. And the annual Cuban festival is held in Key West every summer.
Key West has an important Cuban influence.
Forget the cigars! Have a 'Cafe Con Leche...Sweet' from one of the Cuban stands like Sandy's Cafe which is a walk-up window one block off Truman on White Street. If you prefer your caffeen straight up, have a 'bucci' which is a cuban style espresso.