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> Throwing a Cuban themed party? Havana theme event?, free tips and suggestions inside
Admin
post Nov 2 2004, 01:02 AM
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I get plenty of emails asking for suggestions on how to throw a "Cuban-themed" party. I encourage those of you with ideas to post them on the board, those of you with additional questions, please join in and ask!

You're now at my site (online since 2001): http://www.tasteofcuba.com

Useful links: Cuban Food Market (online Cuban grocery store)

Useful links: The Cuban Store (online Cuban clothing and party supply store)

Here's a question from the old forum:

QUOTE
I want to know if you guys have any ideas on how I can decorate my party.. My theme is Havana Nights.. please let me know of any ideas you may have. Thanks!!


And here was the response from culinary expert Sonia:

QUOTE
First of all....where do you live?
Do you have tropical greenery available?
Hibiscus blooms would be nice.....
Bongo drums, maracas, straw sombreros (not Mexican sombreros and definitely no Mexican sarapes)
A Cuban Flag.......

Clothing should reflect the 1940's and 50's years
Have men order guayaberas to wear
http://www.pennersinc.com/Search.bok?category=100%25+Cotton

I would recommend reading books about Cuba - by Cubans, to get a feel for the people, culture, food and music

Read several Cuban cookbooks
Do a search for Cuban parties on the internet

Some Cuban products: sugarcane, tobacco, coffee, and rice; it also has rum distilleries and fish canneries.

Lots of tropical fruits: Coconut, pineapples, sugar cane, oranges, mangoes, mamey, papayas, cherimoya, anon, etc.

Here are some more ideas:
http://www.ehow.com/how_15027_throw-salsa-dance.html
But instead of the Mexican margaritas...serve Cuban Mojitos!
Serve a good seviche!
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victoria
post Jul 23 2005, 06:42 PM
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I see a tremendous number of hits to this particular e-mail and yes, Cuban-themed parties are HOT.

I live in Miami so it is easy to get many things here that are related. I do have some suggestions for all who might read this going forward.
Here are some suggestions: Domino theme - Black and white table setting, i.e., contrasting tablecloth/napkins, with dominos thrown about can be an attractive way of decorating.
You can also have a domino tournament for fun. Another great game to play is one that is called "Mentirosa" and I am sure you will come accross it looking through the internet. It is probably approx. $40.00 but I guarantee once you learn how to play it, you'll be hooked. Its a dice game with a lot of "bluffing", and a lot of fun!
There is a Cuban store in Miami called Sentir Cubano and they have a website and they also have a web "Cuban Market", where you can literally order food items, cuban groceries, gift baskets, and many other products, including, the music you will need for your party, etc..
If you can get areca palms at your local Home Depot, do so and place lots of them everywhere; they look charming with white Christmas lights on them,too.
You can also dress your buffet table with khaki-color burlap for a very cuban look and get cuban coffee (demitasse) cups and place tea candles in them, with coffee beans thrown about as decoration.
Also, look up maracas and purchase plastic maracas at a party favor place, people love to participate in the music and dancing.
If you can find banana leaves, even in plastic or silk from a local store such as Linen & things, use them as place mats or chargers under your plates or platters.
Cubans also enjoy pork rinds and banana chips that you can serve with drinks as munchies.
Flan is a must recipe for your desert. Try it with a spoon of dulce de coco over it (its shredded coconut in heavy syrup that I am sure you can get through the cuban food market I mentioned through www.sentircubano.com. OR, you can make a cheesecake and top it with guava mermelade, also through same site, hopefully.
Cubans also make little rolls of a slice of sweet ham with swiss cheese in it and top off with a stuffed olive and toothpick as appetizers.
I think if someone out there wants to know more you need to tell us where you are and what type of access you might have to Cuban markets or restaurants so we can make further suggestions.

Hope these "off-the-cuff" ideas helped. As I think of more, I'll post them.


QUOTE (Admin @ Nov 2 2004, 01:02 AM)
I get plenty of emails asking for suggestions on how to throw a "Cuban-themed" party.  I encourage those of you with ideas to post them on the board, those of you with additional questions, please join in and ask!

Here's a question from the old forum:
And here was the response from culinary expert Sonia:
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Admin
post Mar 23 2006, 03:39 PM
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This is a great thread with a lot of views (who knew so many people were throwing Cuban themed parties?) So I'm going to bump it to the top smile.gif
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foodiesleuth
post Apr 6 2006, 01:46 PM
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Hola Joel
I was amazed at the amount of hits these two last postings have!!!!!

I encourage anyone with good ideas for Cuban themed parties to share them with others......There are already some great ones here.

I can't remember now where it is, but a year or so ago when we first started talking about this, I mentioned a source for copies of 'retro' Cuban posters.
You can find some in eBay also


--------------------
Sonia
on an island...far away....
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Admin
post Apr 13 2006, 02:54 AM
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There are definitely a good number of vintage Cuban posters on ebay, they seem to be pretty hot collectibles. There are also some available at www.MyCubanStore.com among other sites.

One thing I realized that nobody mentioned was the music to play. While there is a great deal of contemporary Salsa or classic Salsa albums from Cuba that you could find, I think nothing would set the mood and tone of a Cuban themed party like a good Perez Prado compilation (or Benny Moré!).

The Cuban Originals Perez Prado CD is filled with his most memorable Mambo tracks, its an amazing CD - Click Here to see the album and tracklisting. To listen to Sabor A Mi, Mambo No 5, and especially Que Rico El Mambo is to take a trip back to the 1950's.

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foodiesleuth
post Jul 30 2006, 09:06 PM
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Joel, believe it or not, I'm not the only Cuban living on the Big Island of Hawaii.....there are more of us here. A couple of years ago we planned a get together and we met at the home of one of the members who lives halfway between the two sides of the island, so one one had too awfully long to drive.

We all brought food - a Cuban potluck! - and I took a huge rice cooker and a huge pot of black beans. Everyone brought something typical.

One of our group is a Cuban man married to a Mexican and another friend is a Puerto Rican married to an American, but she joined us and said that when we all got together she was a Cuban aplatanada.........and she made platanos tachinos.

The American husband of another Cuban woman living here has a juicer for making guarapo (sugar cane juice) and the mojitos were made with guarapo, lime juice and yerba buena (spearmint) and of course, rum.....

There were 21 of us there and we had a ball and there are still some that could not join us....of course, not all are Cuban as there are spouses of other nationalities among the group....and their American born children, but when we get together we are all Cuban!

We are hoping to plan a Nochebuena for the entire group. Maybe we can pull it off this year.


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Sonia
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