A Menu To Suit Visitors / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Viñales, 28 August 2016 — The tastes of visitors shape the
menu of the restaurants located in tourist areas of the country. While
menus targeted to Cuban customers prioritize pork, fried foods and the
always-popular pizzas, places with a more foreign clientele focus on the
Mediterranean diet and vegetarian dishes.
In the town of Viñales, in Pinar del Rio, the Aubergine Restaurant is a
clear example of how demand affects culinary options. The tourists come
to the place looking for salads, plates with a predominance of
vegetables and natural juices. The proprietors found this market niche
in the midst of an area where the majority of private restaurants offer
seafood and meat.
Tomatoes, avocado, yucca, rice pilaf and eggplant rule the premises, a
few yards from a state restaurant which does not reach beyond fried
chicken and steak. Experimentation and gastronomic innovation, in these
parts, belongs to the sector of the self-employed.
At the end of the last century vegetarian restaurants flourished
throughout the island in a campaign for a healthier diet that the
official press was quick to identify as “Fidel Castro’s idea.” Of those
premises, with subsidized prices, none remain and now only the most
select places, designed for tourists, put the flavors of the Cuban
countryside on their tables.
Source: A Menu To Suit Visitors / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba –