When You Travel To Cuba, You Eat All The Fruit
You may not eat a single vegetable during your travels to Cuba, but traditional Cuban food culture incorporates plenty of fruit. All around the island, you’ll have the chance to try variations of citrus fruits, the famous and beloved small bananas that usher a distinct sweetness that isn’t tasted in the variety we have here in the states. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruit offerings at hotel buffets and local restaurants, but do me a favor and stop at the small fruit stands along the road or a grocery store in Habana Vieja. You won’t be disappointed!
Travel Tip: Traditional Cuban culture also embraces the various natural juices that are made the island’s fresh fruits. They accompany el desayuno as a significant part of the meal. If you have the chance, try all the juices!
Below are a photos of a traditional Cuban produce store in Old Havana.
Traditional Cuban Culture: Fruit Stands
While I loved the bustling city of Havana with all my heart, the countryside of Cuba is where I fell madly in love. The main streets are well paved and gives you access to some of the most charming parts of the island. On our way to Trinidad, Cuba, we stopped alongside the road to visit a collection of fruit stands.
I asked this farmer – who’s home was directly behind him – if I could take his picture and he agreed. Though he wouldn’t crack a smile, the pride in his produce was evident. He was especially proud of his homemade honey, of which he gave me a honey comb with instructions to chew it like gum. Along with the photos below, I left there with a huge bag of the most delicious and sweet blend of oranges for 2 CUCs before getting back on the road.
Travel Tip: You won’t regret taking a 5 minute stop to test and buy fresh fruit from a road-side Cuban fruit stand farmer. This fruit was the sweetest and most mouth-watering that we ate from all our trip.
Photos below from road-side fruit stand en route to Trinidad, Havana.
Sweet Fruit Comes From Sweet Farmers
We met the sweetest farmer who worked the field behind a tourist rest stop. We saw him sitting there with those small bananas – my favorite – and so I asked him where I could buy a bunch. He took me to the fields where they were growing (and also showed me a yucca plant) and handed me a few of the sweet bananas for me to take on the road. He wouldn’t accept money for the fruit, so instead I asked if he would pose for a photo and gave him a couple CUCs for that instead.
Travel Tip: Don’t get trapped in the road-side tourist stops throughout the countryside. Some of the sweetest people are just outside, excited to show you the fruits of their labor.
During your travels to Cuba, make sure to take part of one of their sweetest parts of traditional Cuban food culture: fruit! Fresh from the farmer is best, but the juices at the hotels and buffets were good too.