Cuban Thanksgiving Dish

If you’re here in the USA, looking for another idea for a Cuban Thanksgiving dish (or if you’re simply curious about Cuban food), I’ve dug up a fascinating sandwich recipe. Made on Cuban bread or white bread, the infamous “Elena Ruz,” includes cream cheese, strawberry jam, and sliced turkey breast. Weird, right?

Yet… somehow, that sweet jam reminds me of cranberry sauce and … well … it is just crazy enough – it might work!

Here’s Wikepedia’s notes on the Elena Ruz:

Another sandwich of Cuba is the “Elena Ruz”. Elena Ruz was a young society debutante in 1930’s who would stop at El Carmelo, a popular restaurant and confectionary shop in Havana after an evening at the opera or a social function, and would ask the waiter if he would fix her a sandwich to her orders. It is prepared on white or Cuban bread, with a layer of cream cheese on one slice, a layer of strawberry jam or preserves on the other, and thin slices of turkey breast in between


If all that’s too much, and you’d rather have basic Cuban lunch fare – make yourself a heaping plate of rice and beans. You can’t go wrong with rice and beans.

Have a great weekend!

Turret of the Castillo del Morro on Havana Harbor


  1. I think the foundation of all Cuban food, except sandwiches, is the sofrito. It’s like a Cajun roux, and may have similar origins. One Cuban wrote, “Growing up, there were two things my mother reiterated: stay out of the kitchen when I’m cooking and don’t forget to make the sofrito!”

  2. Goya makes a very good sofrito. You can make a very good Spanish Rice with it. I bought mine at the Asian Market at 31st & 129th E. Ave. They have a whole section of Goya products.

  3. Thank you so much, this was very interesting. I was actually born in Madrid (I’m not telling you what year though!) but was moved around europe and lastly settled in England when I was 5. I dont remember much of the few years I was in spain, but the delicious smell of spanish food always seems to ring a bell in me or something. Funny, how I dont remember anything except the smells,isn’t it! I actually found a whole internet site dedicated to spanish recipe, which gave me great delight and thought I ought to share. Anyway, thank you again. I’ll get my son to add your cast to my rss app…

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