Ea­ting in Cen­tral Cu­ba

RE­GIO­NAL CON­TRI­BU­TIONS MA­DE BY THE VI­LLA CLA­RA CUI­SI­NE COME TO­GET­HER IN A DI­VER­SE BATCH OF FOOD GENRES, TAS­TES AND TRADITIONS THAT ARE NE­VER AT ODDS WITH THE IMPERATIVES OF MO­DER­NITY

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - Gastronomia / Cuisine -

OO­ne of the high­lights of Cu­ba's cu­li­nary he­ri­ta­ge is no doubt its well­de­fi­ned ho­mo­ge­neity in the use of pro­ducts, co­oking ways and con­sum­ption ha­bits, all of this hall­mar­ked by a clien­te­le that looks qui­te uni­form all across the country. Ho­we­ver, this bunch of con­ver­gen­ces is ob­viously ma­de up of se­ve­ral do­ve­tai­ling ele­ments, and each and every one of them is ge­ne­rally dis­tin­guis­hed by its res­pec­ti­ve dis­tin­ctions. That hap­pens in most of to­day's 16 pro­vin­ces the is­land na­tion is di­vi­ded in­to: qui­te a lot from the moun­tai­nous and agri­cul­tu­ral ele­ments of in­land Cu­ba, things stem­ming from the ci­ties and towns, a tad from the coas­tal and ma­ri­ti­me areas. The lat­ter is geo­grap­hi­cally con­di­tio­ned by the fact that the is­land na­tion's coasts are bat­hed by the balmy wa­ters of the Ca­rib­bean Sea.

The­re­fo­re, the Vi­lla Cla­ra gas­tro­nomy re­veals it­self with a num­ber of re­gio­nal con­tri­bu­tions that come to­get­her as a di­ver­se batch of food genres, tas­tes and traditions that are ne­ver at odds with the imperatives of mo­der­nity. It's im­por­tant to point out that this re­gion of cen­tral Cu­ba is –it goes wit­hout sa­ying- in the midd­le of the is­land na­tion. Pla­ce­tas is the first town on the list, foun­ded back in 1814 in the ham­let of San Atanasio de Gua­ra­ca­bu­ya, simply known as Gua­ra­ca­bu­ya.

An old sa­ying goes “get a good na­me and forget about the rest”. But wit­hout pre­ci­sely get­ting down to rest on tho­se well­de­ser­ved lau­rels, cer­tain lo­ca­tions li­ke San­ta Cla­ra, Re­me­dios, Cai­ba­rién, Sa­gua la Gran­de and Isa­be­la de Sa­gua re­fu­se to get bog­ged down in their his­to­ric and luring po­si­tio­ning. The he­ri­ta­ge of its cob­bles­to­nes –re­fe­rring to the streets and buil­dings of ma­jes­tic ar­chi­tec­tu­rea num­ber of na­tu­ral si­tes, traditions, cus­toms and oral va­lues are cons­tantly pre­ser­ved and re­ne­wed. And with so much to wa­llow in, the­re's an im­pen­ding need to count on a gas­tro­nomy that could be up to par with that of the rest of the country and is good enough to get so­me mo­xie back, both phy­si­cally and spi­ri­tually, in terms of li­ving a genuine and know­led­gea­ble ex­pe­rien­ce.

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