I’m always digging through archives trying to find information about not only old Burger Joints but the Frita Cubana. One of the mysteries of the Frita Cubana is when exactly did it disappear from Cuba? I found this El Nuevo Herald article (Vuelven a saborearse en La Habana las inolvidables fritas by Wilfredo Cancio Isla) from Wednesday August 13 of 2008 which not only answers that question but also mentions they they’re back on the island. As of June of 2008 the Frita Cubana was again available at the cafeteria attached to Restaurante Puerto de Sagua in La Habana Vieja. They are served traditional style with soft bread and julienned Malanga (not Potatoes like you find in Miami). It’s not the first time I hear of Malanga or even Sweet Potato being used in place of regular Potatoes. I have not been able to find out if this was just regional thing throughout Cuba or just because of scarcity of product. The current cost for a Frita Cubana is $1 US (24 Cuban Pesos) but this was 5 years ago so don’t hold me to that.
In March of 1968 all Frita Cubana Stands or “Puestos de Frita” as they are referred to disappeared. Polarizing Cuban journalist Max Lesnik is the man behind the Frita Cubana’s reappearance in Cuba. He somehow secured the original recipe that famed Fritero Sebastián Carro Seijido of the Puerto de Sagua cafeteria used. The recipes calls for 60% Beef and 30% Pork mixed with old Bread soaked in Milk, Sweet Paprika (a Mild Spanish Paprika), Diced Onions, Garlic and as previously mentioned, julienned Malanga. Well? Now that you got the recipe, who’s gonna invite me over?