Dispatches from Cuba #4-7.9.15

IMG_4776 The first Cuban food I tasted was a 5.4% beer picked up at the airport for the long ride to my hotel. That’s not food though, is it? It’s just nutrition.

After that, dinner and all subsequent food was normal. Chicken. Pork. Rice. Pasta. Bread. Coffee. Beer. All normal. However, leaving aside their satisfactory coffee, bread and beer, most of what I consumed was effortlessly and unbelievably tasty.

Cuba is poor, but there is no paucity of food. It is not an alien desire for Cubans, and their cuisine isn’t affected in horrific ways by the embargo. They don’t rely on imports. Fresh foods of all kinds can grow in the fertile soil, and in sprawling cities like Havana, they can grown in urban farms atop buildings, or in disused lots. Anything will grow, because it is the Caribbean, think about it for a second.

For my first dinner it was a simple piece of chicken and vegetables and rice. For my first breakfast I had a buffet and could not decide what to eat. I don’t even like food, but every plate followed another plate of edible glory. Fresh fruit was no problem. Pineapples, mangoes, guava, bananas, coconuts, watermelon, and avocados as big as big as a bottle of rum and just as delicious. The only issue there seemed to be was beef. Cows were not holy. Religion was not an issue in Cuba. It was simply deemed that cows are harder to maintain as a product than chicken or pigs, and so to own a cow had limitations, IMG_4859and to slaughter cows had its own limitations, whereas chicken, pigs, and sea life, were easy to maintain and fetch for dinner. Why let Cows dominate the fertile fields of Cuba for a high-minded idea of steaks? Red meat kills. So I waved off beef and laid myself prostrate before a buffet of lobster, prawns, all kinds of fish, chicken, pork, and delicious vegetables, fruit, potato and rice.

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