Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our Man in Havana (or, Castronomy)

Fortune and Vali delivered me to Havana for 24 hours to do official research. I arrived in Havana around noon.

1 Malta canned drink. This tasted like pure liquid sugarcane.

Almost immediately I realized that my resolution to eat in only non-tourist places would be impossible. The Cuban government has crushed small business. It is very difficult to find a store, let alone a restaurant. The few bakeries and hole-in-the-wall places have incredibly long lines. There's a grey economy system of private homes that double as restaurants, but this was difficult to navigate as I don't speak Spanish. It is illegal to buy beef in Cuba (except, interestingly, for the tiny Jewish community).

Cuban people are banned from entering tourist establishments by themselves. They are also incredibly poor. As a result, English-speaking Cubans will try and get you to take them to bars to buy them drinks. A young gentleman and lady introduced themselves, and I told them I would buy them drinks if they took me to a good restaurant. The gentleman said he knew just the place, and kept using the words "fatty" and "Cuban" to describe the sandwich I would have. I agreed.

Restaurant
1 ham and cheese sandwich. This was about what you'd get at ABP.
1 mojito

The woman then began offering services in which I was not interested.

Edificio Bacardi
1 mojito

A nameless bar
1 mojito

Ice cream shop

1 caramel ice cream with caramel
Cubans like their stuff sweet!

Los Frailes hotel
1 cafe con leche

Woman's home
1 cafe con leche

El Floridita
1 Floridita daiquiri
1 Cuban sandwich.
This was made with chicken, pork, and a sort of potato mustard that was quite good.
fried potatoes
fried peppers


Hotel
1 daiquiri

The following morning:

La Taberna
1 sweet sponge cake
3 pieces Cuban sausage
2 pancakes with honey topping
1 piece pineapple
1 piece fruit
- FRs, can you identify it? it was pinkish-red inside with a green rind.
2 glasses fruit juice - 1 pink, one mango?
1 cafe con leche


Jose Marti Airport
Roasted chicken with onions
Black beans and rice
1 Crystal beer

some fried plantains

3 Comments:

Blogger Jack said...

SC - was that fruit a guava?

11:48 AM  
Blogger she-hubbs said...

Was it a fig?

2:18 PM  
Blogger SC said...

it was a guava! I don't think I'd ever eaten one before.

3:51 PM  

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