Most Difficult Tea-Making

The most difficult tea-making experience I ever had? Was it in Cuba? No, that was easy: I’d brought an electric kettle which seemed like a remarkable miracle to our Cuban friends. Even if I didn’t have it, I’d have been able to use the single electric burner hot plate to boil the water in the…

Sacred Ceiba Tree

Wikipedia says: The tree figures in the mythologies of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, in particular that of the Maya civilization, where the concept of the central world tree is often depicted as a Ceiba trunk, which connects the planes of the Underworld (Xibalba), the terrestrial realm and the skies. The unmistakable thick conical thorns in clusters…

Puerco, Puerco, Puerco

As near vegetarians, James and I had a hard time finding food that wasn’t always meaty in Cuba. And even at the best of times, we never eat pork. In Cuba, this is very difficult. Pork is everywhere and the most popular meat. Behind our place was a small yard that held a very large…

The Best Honey in the World

It seemed like the best honey in the world – and tasted like it. I don’t know if it is pure, but the Cuban honey has such a remarkable flavour to it. We had it first in Baracoa, where the Indian woman you see here cooked it with almonds, and then poured the mixture into…

What’s With the Imported Frozen Chicken?

In a country known for its revolutionary agrarian reform, it was very odd to see there was no chicken available in the markets in Cuba. Nada. Pork, of course. Lamb, also of course. That’s it. Where’s the chicken? why its in the big freezers in the stores, bought with convertibles (cuc) not Cuban pesos. So…

Fidel Gastro: Food in Cuba

As a Canadian who had never travelled to Cuba before, I had a misconception that Cuban food would be like Mexican: strong, hot, spicy. What I found was something quite different. Now in the hands of the good-hearted Cubans we met, food became delicious, and we had some lovely and extraordinary meals, especially considering limitations…