I was at the end of my third week in Cuba. And yes, although I love rice with beans and fresh fish, I began to miss Pasta. I am one of these people who could eat an entire bucket of pasta every day, therefore I felt like a drug addict in rehab. I had given pasta a try in Santa Clara and Santiago already, but it had been awful both times. Watery pasta, no salt, no taste. Disgusting.
While I took a nap on the balcony in Baracoa, I dreamt of eating a bowl of pasta aglio olio, al dente, and delicious. I couldn’t help it anymore, I had to try again.
So there I was, sitting in a Cuban pizzeria, so a veeeeery cheap restaurants where Cubans, not tourists eat, and I looked at the menu. About 1/4 of the menu which contained pizza and pasta had a black mark next to them, meaning that they ran out of it. I ordered pasta con pescado, pasta with fish. Yeah well, that was also not available. So I ordered espaguetti with tomato sauce. Yes, I was desperate. The restaurant was really interesting. It was very simple, the doors and windows were open but AC was on, there were about one billion flies inside, the TV was on, still some cheesy christmas decoration… and Cuban families enjoyed their pasta.
After a while, I had my pasta with a nice beer. And my dreams were crushed by reality again. Note that Cuban cheese (queso criollo) is horrible. And the watery pasta and sauce without any herbs or spices, salt or pepper just tasted like nothing. There was also no salt or pepper on the table.
Anyways, I ate it, but I decided to let it be and to continue eating typical Cuban food, which is perfectly fine. Good news: The whole menu cost $30 MN ($24MN=1 Euro). And my beer alone was $18MN. So basically $12MN for the pasta, approximately 26 cent.
You could technically survive in Cuba for almost no money in terms of food. If you are however a gourmande like me, then eating in the casa is probably the cheapest option.
But you can probably guess what the first food I had back in Europe was….. 😉