An update from Cuba

Greetings desde Havana! This entry will be like a really long postcard, a brief but general update on my time here in Cuba.  I've been journaling a bunch but haven't had the chance to use the internet much.  The days are just packed. I'm busily working away on cookbook content. I'm cooking nearly everyday with chefs and home cooks in my apartment at times and around the city in various kitchens.  I’m learning a tremendous about about food here, and the Cuban way of cooking- clearly. It’s been very easy to connect with collaborators, to my luck. They are all very excited to share their traditions, and see the unique quality that the previous book has (I brought three copies of Mi Comida Latina to show and gift). 

I’ve had the chance to take some short trips too. I’ve when it’s all over, I will have seen most provinces in the western half of the island. Aside from from Havana, (my home base) I’ve traveled to the gorgeous Viñales and Pinar del Rio, enjoyed the beaches of Veradero, and stayed in nearby town of Matanzas. Next week I’ll be heading to Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and Trinidad. 

The timing of my trip here has truly been magical; to witness Obama’s visit and reaction of the Cuban people has been so special. Truly historic. We saw his motorcade twice, standing on the streets in old town Havana, and witnessed the happiness of the locals dancing in the streets. I’ve caught the live broadcasts the Obama coverage in cafes and in the homes of my Cuban neighbors too.  Everyone is content about the prospects for change (for economic reasons first and foremost). 

As for the cookbook, I feel like I have plenty of content that is authentic and diverse. I’ve intentionally gathered some more salad recipes, and have now had first hand experience cooking many of the classics. I also have a content for more supplemental info too: explanation about viandas (root veggies) that are so foundational in the diet, a spread about coffee service, some info about food with regards to santeria.  I’ve also learned some supplemental recipes that were surprising to me including ‘garrapiña' a drink that is made with peel of the piña!

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