December 15, 2011

How to survive with the food in Cuba

Hey everyone! It's been awhile eh! (don't laugh, I'm Canadian I'm allowed to say EH).

SO!!! You all know how much I love food, right? Like, it's a problem, an obsession, a passion, a lifestyle. Which is why I kind of put off going to Cuba for years, although it's like the cheapest all inclusive vacation ever. Ppl kept telling me the food was HORRIBLE so this TERRIFIED me. Well let me tell you: I went recently and SURVIVED!!! The food was bad, yes, but not as bad as I thought it would be...I though I would be regurgitating each bite or spitting food in a napkin and running for water. No, it wasn't that....the problem was...well...let me try to simplify it all: The food was either too bland or too spicy, too sweet or not sweet enough, and quite often, I did not understand the logic of their use of spices (cumin in tomato sauce, really??? REALLY??). And I was not being a picky eater, I was trying a whole bunch of things. The other problem is...the food LOOKS good! So you're tempted to take everything...but then...well...*starts biting nails*...

Anyways! Here are a few tricks I have to suggest in case you wanna go there soon and want to eat well:

-Bring spices!! 
 I really should've brought these 
Many people told me to do so but I had forgotten and regretted! Oh how my Goya Adobo and Steak spices would have made the food taste so much better! If you can, also bring some "Montreal Steak" chicken spices. I'm sure these spices would've made the oh-so-bland food taste much better. Oh yeah and if you can, bring some extra virgin olive oil. Yeah. 

-Have a big breakfast! 
I mean, you can't go wrong on eggs and bacon. Matter of fact, I found that the pork in Cuba was the only meat that was pretty good. The guava and freshly squeezed orange juices were also awesome. And what to say about the coffee! Un café con leche por favor!

-Eat lots of bread and butter. 
Screw the diet! The bread at my hotel was fluffy, a little sweet and delicious! And the butter tasted good, too. Mmmm...bread and butter. Matter of fact, I never ate so much bread and butter in such a short period of time.

The desserts were not bad!!
-Get creative
You know when you're at a club and the DJ stops the song and screams "REEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMIIIIXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"??? (don't run, I'm getting somewhere with that!)...well...Remix your food!!! I did that a couple of times and did not regret! For example
: There was a chef who would take some pasta and mix it with whatever sauces and meats that you would choose. Dude, the tomato sauce tasted awkward so here's what I would do: I would bring a glass of white wine (it's an all inclusive so the wine is free), add some pesto and garlic in it, and ask him to saute all of it with some bacon, onions and a bit of tomato sauce. Yes, I had to add salt and pepper, but it was aiight! Especially with bread and butter! Or something else I would do (my Carribean ppl are gonna feel me on that one): I would take some white rice and in a separate bowl, mash the beans and a bit of liquid from the "Red bean soup", then add it on top of my rice, Carribean style.

My remixed spaghetti

I tried.
-Try some real Cuban food.
I noticed that the typical Carribean foods were not as bad compared to their "We're trying to make North American" types of foods like hot dogs (ugh), hamburgers (double ugh) and pizza (triple ughhhhhhh). So don't be afraid to try these traditional dishes!

Typical Cuban soup, very good! 
-Go to restaurants outside of the resort. 
I kept hearing WONDERFUL stories about the seafood in restaurants that were located further than the hotel. 

-Go to the À la Carte restaurants of your hotel
The food is usually better, but ask before you book. Me and Jeanne went to this À la Carte restaurant of our hotel and it was basically the food from the buffet re-arranged in some fancier plates. And we also had the worst hummous EVER. Shame.

"Russian" salad (riiiiight.....) aka re-arranged buffet food
-Bring your own wine. You'll thank me later.

-Try stuff. you might find something you sort of like. 

Jeanne's plate one night
OR...The ULTIMATE trick to surviving the food in Cuba might be......

DON'T GO TO CUBA. Spend 200$ more on your all-inclusive and go to Dominican Republic or Mexico or any other country where you will EAT WELL in your resort. The country is beautiful, the beaches are breathtaking, Cubans look good, the alcohol is unlimited etc, but eating good food is wayyyyyyy too important for me to sacrifice or compromise.

This poster at the airport is extremely representative lol

Hope these tips were helpful. How about you guys? Did you ever go to Cuba, and if so did you like the food? Any additional tips??

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