Monday, 8 March 2010

Smoking in Cuba

No, I'm not talking about Cuban cigars.  And, it's not exactly smoker cooking, but awfully close. Close enough to be worthy for a post.

We recently embarked on a family trip to Cuba. For me, when travelling , no matter where, I'm always intrigued with the cuisine. Unfortunately, Cuba isn't a culinary powerhouse . I had read this on many websites prior to our trip, so didn't have high expectations. This actually surprised me because of their location. They have a climate that would support lots of tasty plants year round. They are also very close to other regions with amazing food (Mexico to name one). I find it fascinating how food really does take on characteristics in rather narrow geographic settings.

Anyhoo. One highlight on our trip was a backcountry excursion where we got to dine along the shores of a tropical river. At this place there was a large hut for cooking meat (typically pork, chicken, lobster). I couldn't resist snapping a few shots of the operation as it seemed to capture the best of Cuban cooking. I also reveled in the notion that although food cultures are geographically narrow, some techniques are primal and similar everywhere. The basics.

Here are a few snaps of the operation. The lobster is definitely being grilled, but the other meats are being done more in a low and slow barbecue style. The fuel in both instances is a lovely hard charcoal. Indeed a delicious form of cooking.