“Travels to a Different Time” : Santiago de Cuba: July 1996: How About the Food? The Ignoramus With The Baseball Cap

The property I am staying at is managed by Canadian Hotel company Delta Hotels. As I understand Cuba a good part of the food is brought in from Canada. It was Canadians that gave a shot in the arm to tourism here. For example if you look at the juice dispenser the juice is from a company in Scarborough which is a suburb of Toronto. The food is simply prepared and tasty. There is not a huge selection but given the lack of meat and many foods available to Cubans I am content to be low key. The average Cuban hardly has any meat to eat. There is usually a good selection of fresh tropical fruit for breakfast and the papaya and mangoes are sweet and in season. There are grapefruits and oranges but they are not particularly sweet. The breakfasts have a Canadian edge to them with French toast, pancakes and made in front of you omelettes. The Cuban coffee is excellent but the milk rather ruins it.

There is a fish dish for both lunch and dinner.

Lunch is varied with a salad bar and copious amounts of fresh fruit. On Tuesday there was pasta with cream sauce, pork in tomato sauce and rice and beans. On Monday there were some burgers with fries.

There is a juice bar with a dispenser that makes a huge clackety noise every time juice is dispensed. The beer is light and fizzy which in this climate is appreciated. There is usually ice cream and meringue desserts. The cakes aren’t bad but there is an obsession with pink icing.

I saw a few turkeys on the tennis court one morning. There was roast turkey for dinner! I would call the cooking home style and I have no complaints. Especially since I hear the property next door too often serves hot dogs in tomato sauce.

What I find annoying in the dining room is not the food but a rather sluggish man with his overly fleshed girlfriend always grousing about the damn food. And he wears his baseball hat for every meal. How crude and ill mannered. I heard him at the airport in Toronto when we arrived saying how they were going to go to McDonald’s and get some “real food”. Idiots like that embarrass me. I hope the Cubans ignore that ignoramus. Cuba is a super cheap destination which you might say attracts a certain type of tourist.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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