Cuban food markets – the daily grind

3 Comments 06.Dec, 2012, 17:12


Finding it, preparing it. Eating it. It occupies most of my day. But then I do write a food blog!

However, the same would be true if I was just an average Cuban.  Here’s a short audio about a typical morning touring the markets for food.  One thing’s for sure – insider knowledge is key for successful procurement.
listen to ‘Where are the best places to go to sample how Cubans source their daily food?’ on Audioboo
Food – its a complex and time consuming business in Cuba.

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  1. Nancy 08. December, 2012, 9:39

    Hey Tanja! Great to hear your voice! Terrific audio of a typical morning shop. Lots of info. Very interesting mention of the herb limitations. You referenced basil and thyme. Have you introduced these to Cuban friends? If so, what did they think? And what others would you recommend taking? (Already have ginger on the list. :-)

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    • TheCubanFoodBlog AUTHOR 09. December, 2012, 18:17

      Hola Nancy, great to hear from you! And I’m glad you’re liking the audio. The main herbs you will be able to get are Parsley, Culantro, Cilantro, bay leaf and oregano and of course mint. I grow the basil and thyme in my garden. Though I have heard that you can buy it – I just haven’t been able to find out where, yet! My Cuban friends have been introduced to many things…. though I still don’t have them convinced about chili. Spicy food is a leap too far so I keep my spicy chickpea and sweet potato curry for a day when I need some comfort food. Depending on where you are in Cuba you will be able to get fresh ginger, but to be on the safe side I would bring some powdered. If you love a particular spice, say Cardamon, bring it because you won’t find it here. But you can get Star Anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Check out the latest customs regulations before you come though as there have been changes recently about bringing foodstuffs into the country. Hasta pronto!

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  2. Dan MacArthur 08. December, 2012, 14:20

    Hola Tanja and thanks for taking up this topic- the world needs to know that Cubans eat simple but delicious meals in their apartments and houses. I wish you could come with me to the house of a ninety-year-old Abuelita in Ciego de Avila province, her parents came from Iberia and she takes great delight in providing meals entirely from her own farm- her children still milk cows and grow a variety of veggies, and they grow their own cofee so that is a staple. Very tasty simple salad dressings, pork, you got it, all around. Then she cleans up the place while we all snooze, kind of embarrassing to be male and to think that maybe we should actually help?
    Also, I want to plug street coffee aft seeing your blog on coffee- I am not much of a connoisseur of coffee but I love the little window vendors all over la habana, look for a queue of 2 or more and you probably have a decent cafecito and the foreign $$ goes right to the family that needs it! A quick pick-me-up any time of day whle walking the streets… Dan

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