Government food subsidies still exist
Every Cuban family receives a monthly “libreta,” or a food quota/stamp booklet that's a vestige from the 1960s. These days the libreta only includes staples like rice, legumes, potatoes, bread, eggs, and a small amount of meat, typically of very low quality. Depending on level of wealth, families will subsidize their groceries with black market trade and imports or goods from local farmer's markets.
Pork is the ubiquitous protein served as street food, in restaurants, and in the home
In cities like Havana where space is limited, you're less likely to see a whole roasted pig, but cooking a full hog on a spit over coals is popular outside of cities, especially on special occasions. “Whole pig roasting in Cuba is like barbecue here,” says Douglas. “It's the most celebrating thing in Cuban culture.”
The most popular way you'll see pork served is in simple sandwich form. Depending on the vendor there will be a variety of cuts to choose from ranging from leaner loin to fattier belly, but the real prize is the crispy skin called chicharrones.