Category: Cuban Culture

CUBA: THE DREAMED DESTINATION FOR CIGAR LOVERS

Posted By : Ariadna Martin/ 57 0

My Daiquiri in El Floridita and my Mojito in La Bodeguita

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 563 2

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquirí in El Floridita” No doubt, the renowned phrase by Ernest Hemingway, takes you to one single destination, Havana.

La Bodeguita del Medio

Unquestionably, this is one of the greatest locations in Havana. Likewise, the place is located in the heart of the city, close to Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square).

In fact, the name of the restaurant has a very particular history. Actually, in past years bars were located in the corners of the streets. However, this one was built in the middle, that is why it is called Bodeguita del Medio (kind of a cellar located in the middle of the street).

Due to the good location, along with the excellent service, the place became very well-known. So then, it was home of many artists and common people who preferred gathering around.

Consequently, Ernest Hemingway, who was a bohemian of his time, visited the bar every day for a Mojito. Thanks to him, the drink became so popular in the bar that today it is its classic cocktail.

Nevertheless, it was in 1950 that the owner decided to start serving food as well.

Nowadays, La Bodeguita del Medio is a very common touristic attraction. For granted, every person that visits Havana will, at least, stop to drink a Mojito at the Bar.

Yet, another singular charm is that the walls are signed by visitors.

For example, some personalities that signed its walls were:

  • Pablo Neruda
  • Gabriel García Márquez
  • Gabriela Mistral
  • Agustín Lara
  • Nat King Cole
  • Nicolás Guillén
  • Julio Cortázar
  • Joan Manuel Serrat
  • Margaux Hemingway
  • Salvador Allende

    La Bodeguita del Medio
    La Bodeguita del Medio

Would you like to have a Mojito?

Do not worry if you are at home, we will take the drink to you.

Although the Cuban Mojito needs hierbabuena, a typical leave that may be substituted by a mint leave.

Enjoy it.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons sugar

10 fresh mint leaves plus 1 sprig for garnish

Juice of 1/4 lime

Ice

2 ounces rum, such as Bacardi Superior Rum

Splash club soda

Directions

Combine the sugar, mint and lime juice in a 12-ounce glass and muddle together. Fill the glass with ice, and then pour in the rum. Shake in a shaker until well mixed, then pour back into the same glass. Fill with club soda, and garnish with mint, and a straw.

Mojito

 

Briefly, we should point out that Ernest Hemingway fell in love with Havana. There was a little something waiting for him at every corner. Whenever you get the chance, do not hesitate: follow his footsteps.

 

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Hotels and the History of the Mafia in Havana

Posted By : Ariadna Martin/ 178 0
Plaza de la Revolucion Havana

Plaza de la Revolucion Havana: An Iconic Place of Cuba

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 580 0

Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana is something that is considered for most tourists as a must-see. Discover all the information about the history of the places, what you will see there, how much it costs, schedules and more.

The Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana is one of the most famous and important tourist centers, not only because of the images of Commander Che Guevara and that of Camilo Cienfuegos, which are distinguished in their surroundings but also because of the striking monument to our national Hero José Martí.

The square has a unique historical value because it has been the scene of many of the main acts and events of the Cuban Revolution. Nowadays its rooms serve as exhibition halls and for the celebration of significant events in the history of Cuba.

When was the Revolution Square built?

Historians tell that the Revolution Square was conceived in the 1940s with the purpose of erecting a monument to the National Hero of Cuba, on the site where the Hermitage of the Catalans was located.

However, the work did not begin until 1952, under the order of Fulgencio Batista, who considered this as the perfect way to clear his image marred by violence.

For this, the government promoted a forced public collection, in addition to raising taxes and using other methods of obtaining money that would allow to raise funds for the construction of the monument.

Construction began in 1953 and ended in 1958 the obels and the statue of Marti were erected but the surrounding areas and the gallery were still missing.

In 1959, at the beginning of the Revolution, it was decided to close its doors to the public as a museum and it is then that the base of the monument begins to be used for farewells of personalities duels and other activities.

Already in 1995, due to the centenary of José Martí fall in combat, which occurred on May 19, 1895, the idea of opening the site as a memorial was resumed on May 19 the same year.

Being inaugurated on January 27th, 1996 by Fidel Castro Ruz, leader of the Revolution as a memorial to honor our national heroe José Martí.

Address of Plaza de la Revolucion Havana

The Plaza the la Revolucion in Havana is located in the municipality with the same name.

Interesting facts about the Plaza de la Revolucion Havana:

With 72,000 square meters, Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana is one of the largest squares in Cuba and the world.

Although its original name was Plaza Civica (Civic Sqaure), its international fame began with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, and hence the name it adopted since then.

The Square:

The place formed by a five-pointed star, has five rooms. First two dedicated to spreading the life and work of José Martí. In which drawings, prints, iconographies, editions of his books, documents, and original manuscripts are shown, such as the first letter written by Marti to his mother, at the age of nine, among others until the note he sent hours before his fall in Dos Ríos, to General of the Mambí Army, Máximo Gómez.

The third rooms exposes images and documents related to the construction of the Square. There is an auditorium where conferences, book presentations and concerts are held with Small orchestras with a capacity for one hundred people.

Here, awards are given annually to the winners of literary competitions or concerts by pianists such as Frank Fernández are enjoyed.

There is also a room dedicated to children, created with the purpose of fostering love for the apostle. Inside there is a unique article, a Venetian ceramic mural authored by the Cuban artist Enrique Carabia.

The Obelisk:

The tower constitutes the highest point of the city of Havana, it is a concrete structure clad in gray marble, very clear, with a little more than 78 meters in diameter in its lower part and stands 142 meters to the lighthouses and flags.

As it grows, the pyramid narrows. There is also an internal elevator of 90 meters of travel and a staircase of 579 steps.

On the top floor, 129 meters above sea level, the beauty of Cuban Capital is appreciated in all its magnitude and on the floor, through the cardinal points, the visitor can get know about curious facts such as their situation: to the North, to the south, east and west as well as the distance to different regions such as Jerusalem 11022 kilometers, La Paz at 4655, 7454 from Madrid, Spain and 1782 from Mexico City.

In front and independent of the tower, there is the Jose Martí Memorial since 1958.

José Martí Memorial:

In the area of the base of the monument you will find the José Martí stuatue in a sitting and thoughtful position. The statue is 18 meters high and consists of 52 blocks of white marble, the work of Cuban artist Juan José Sicre.

It is placed 139 meters above the sea, this being the ideal way to revitalize his ideology when he sentenced:

“It is necessary to rise like the mountains to be seen from afar”

The memorial is surrounded by six pillars representing the provinces in which formerly the national territory was divided, with the shields of each one of them.

What is contemplated around the Plaza de la Revolucion Havana?

The Plaza de la Revolucion is surrounded by the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior of Cuba, formerly known as the Court of Auditors.

On its facade is an image of Ernesto Che Guevara made of cast black glass, the work of Cuban artist Enrique Ávila.

Under the image of “Che” is also recorded the most famous motto of the commander: “Hasta la victoria siempre”, which means “Ever onward to victory”.

Another of the nearby buildings is the Ministry of Information, Technology and Communications that displays the image of the hero of the cuban Revolution Camilo Cienfuegos with his phrase “You are doing well Fidel!”, this image was placed in the year 2009.

On the east and west sides you can find the José Martí National Library, the National Theater of Cuba, the latter, home of the “Café Cantante” nightclub and the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

Ernesto Che Guevara Building
Ernesto Che Guevara Building

What are the most relevant events that occurred in the José Martí Revolution Square?

The historic Revolution Square has witnessed major international and mass events in recent years.

These events include:

  • The first parade of the popular militias made up of workers and peasants on May 1, 1959.
  • Crowd concentration of the people in the Revolution Square, on September 2, 1960, in support of the First Declaration of Havana. Photos of this important fact are shown in the halls of the square.
  • On September 28, 1961, the act for the I Anniversary of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) was held in the square.
  • The people gathered in the Revolution Square supported the foreign policy of the Revolutionary Government and approved the II Declaration of Havana on February 4, 1962.
  • On May 1, 1980, the square houses the largest mass act of the revolution and revolutionary reaffirmation in response to the maneuvers executed by the United States Government to disembark at the Guantanamo Base.
  • The second concert Peace without Borders of 2009, the masses officiated by Pope Benedict XVI and Francisco, in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
  • On March 7, 2013, Tribute is made for the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías.
  • The mass act on the occasion of the death of the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro in 2016.

Hence, the Revolution Square has become a meeting place for the Cuban people to celebrate or commemorate the successes of the Revolution, as well as the parades of May 1st, and acts of solidarity with brotherly peoples, anniversaries of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, the Triunfo of the Cuban Revolution and other important events of Cuba that marked a before and after in history.

What time of day can you visit the Revolution Square in Havana?

The José Martí Memorial in the Revolution Square is open to the public every day, from 9:00 a.m. at 5:00 p.m. Admission is 8CUC tourists, having the possibility to visit base and viewpoint.

For children the visit to the base is free

Mention that upon arrival you will find a specialized staff, prepared and with full knowledge about the life and work of the apostle José Martí.

Tours to Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana

From Varadero

On the other hand, if your lodging place is in Varadero and you probably want to visit the Revolution Square, as well as all the places of interest in Havana, including, Old Havana, El Capitolo, Cigar Factory, Plaza de Armas, Rum Museum among other places chosen by you. You can request one of our day trips to Havana since all our tours to Havana include a visit to Revolution Square and in addition to that, all of them are also all 100% customizable in order to visit the preferred places by our clients.

From Havana

If you are staying in Havana you probably want to visit all the iconic places of the city, and this without a doubt includes the Plaza de la Revolucion with the Jose Marti Memorial, in such case, we invite you to get in contact with us since we can either arrange full-day trip through all the old Havana and modern Havana, including a visit to the Revolution Square or we can arrange a punctual visit to the Square for the period of time that you set.

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Canada love Cuba

5 Reasons Why Canadians Love to Travel to Cuba

Posted By : Havana60/ 343 0

In this post we tell you what are the main reasons why Canadians prefer to travel to Cuba instead of other destinations in the Caribbean.

Cuba is an island that is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, next to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and relatively close to Mexico. And we all know that Cuba is one of the favorite places for Canadian Travelers when they decide to go on vacation, but. Why Canadians love to travel to Cuba instead of other destinations in the Caribbean? In this post I present to you the 5 main reason why this happen 🙂

You may also be interested in reading the 13 things you should NEVER do in Cuba as a tourist.

Our Best Classic Cars Tours in Cuba

#5 – Canadians Love to travel to Cuba because Safety

Cuban Police Officer on the street-min

Cuba, despite being a poor country, is one of the safest in the entire hemisphere. Security is almost total since there is no drug or organized crime. Tourists walk freely around the area without any major worry.

Although it is very common from time to time to find some military officers on the beach, these are only there to prevent street vendors from approaching tourists with the intention of offering their products.

#4 – Beautiful Beaches

Varadero Beach with an street Seller

In Cuba, you can find some of the most beautiful beaches not only in all of America but all over the world. It is not surprising that Varadero Beach has been in the second position in the category of Best Beaches in the world of TripAdvisor.

Although Varadero is the favorite sun and beach destination, since it is only 150km from the Cuban capital, there are also some hidden gems on the island, whose beaches are still considered “virgin” by some locals. I refer to the Beaches of “Los Cayos”, which includes Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Coco, and Cayo Santa María.

#3 – Because of the kindness of the Cubans

A cuban woman smiling

Cubans are really exceptional people, despite the difficult economic situation that many of them suffer, they always have a welcome smile and are always in a good mood ,and this is without a doubt one of the main reasons why Canadians Love to travel to Cuba.

When you meet a Cuban for the first time, it gives you the impression that you have known him/her for a lifetime.
It happens very often that some Canadians or other tourists, in general, make some kind of friendship with hotel workers, and suddenly they are having dinner one night at their home and meeting their whole family.

#2 There is no Capitalism

Classic Car Taxi in Cuba

Unquestionably the sensation of walking through the streets of Havana, Varadero or any other city in Cuba without having commercials all over is something that really feels good.

One can appreciate the true face of the city and the story that tells its facades. Without a doubt, when it will happen that the Cuban system changes and foreign investment comes, followed by McDonalds and Wallmart posters everywhere, that day, we will lose many Canadian friends, since they prefer to see a Natural Cuba.

#1 – Because of its Traditions

Buena Vista Social Club

Many Travelers simply marvel when they arrive in Cuba for the first time, in addition to the warmth of welcome radiated by the Cuban people, they also discover that this beautiful island is full of beautiful traditions, such as traditional Cuban music, food, coffee, and the Habanos.

There are many travelers who have confessed to us that Cuba is like their second home, that sometimes they feel that in some way it is here where they belong, they love Cuba, its people, and its customs. And they are friends who always come back, they are friends from Canada who love Cuba.

If you think I have forgotten to mention a specific reason why the people of Canada love to travel to Cuba, do not hesitate to leave it in the comments

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Chevrolet 1957

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 416 0

The 1957 Chevrolet, unlike any other American car and contrary to industrial practice at the time, was manufactured for 10 years.

It is a car introduced by Chevrolet in September 1956 for the 1957 model year.

Subsequent models have been made for the Chevrolet of the following years, but the 57, has always been a very popular and requested classic car.

They are often restored to their original state and sometimes modified, but they remain an automatic icon.

Do not hesitate, come to Cuba.

Here you can enjoy these walking wonders, which despite the years continue to travel through the Cuban streets.

 

Aspects to be treated:

  • What were the versions available for the year 1956?
  • History of the Chevrolet ’57.
  • Popularity of the Chevrolet ’57.
  • What type of engine used the Chevrolet ’57?
  • What were the Gearbox alternatives in a Chevrolet ’57?
  • Curiosity.

 

What were the versions available for the year 1956?

Chevrolet, due to the appearance of new car brands, found itself in a real challenge: to ensure that the 1957 had the public’s favor coming from two very good years with the 1955 and 1956 models that had established very high parameters in terms of Quality, design and technology.

By September 11, 1956, three models of the series were available:

  • the basic one, called “Chevrolet 150”,
  • the intermediate, called “Chevrolet 210” and
  • the star version: Chevrolet BelAir that corresponded to the luxury models

 

  • The basic version: 150

 

These were models with minimal ornaments.

Bodyworks:

4-door sedan with two doors, utility sedan and a two-door Wagon Handyman station with or without rear windows.

The latter to be used in the transport of light merchandise. Those that could be called delivery.

The side moldings version 150, included very small side sockets, also tire rates that barely covered the center of the tires.

 

  • The average version: 210

 

With greater exterior ornamentation and chrome.

Bodyworks:

Coupe with two doors, with and without central stops, four doors with or without central stops, the same as station wagon with two and four doors and the possibility of having in the latter with seats for six or nine passengers.

This version, had larger sockets, but not reaching those proposed for the Belair series. Also minimum size tire rates.

 

  • The Bel Air version

 

Definitely the most luxurious version.

Bodyworks:

Two-door coupé with or without central stops, four-door sedan with or without stops, a beautiful convertible coupe and the four-door Station Wagon, plus a luxury two-door station called Nomad.

In the Belair series, in addition to the sockets that were used in the 210, two imposing aluminum strips of almost triangular shape were included for the sides of the car.

As well as chrome moldings for the tail fins and tire rates that completely covered it, for which outstanding ornaments were acquired to be mounted in the center of these.

 

History of the Chevrolet ’57:

Initially, General Motors executives wanted a completely new car by 1957, but production delays made the 1955-1956 design necessary for another year.

Ed Cole, chief engineer of Chevrolet, dictated a series of changes that significantly increased the cost of the car.

These changes helped make the Chevrolet ’57 a classic.

They include a new instrument panel, the closed hood, and the relocation of the air ducts of the headlight pods.

The fifteen-inch wheels from previous years were replaced by fourteen-inch wheels, with the purpose of giving the car a lower posture.

Another change was the use of a wide fence to give the car a wider appearance of the front.

The now famous ’57 Chevrolet in the queue were designed to double the wide look in the rear.

The base engine was a 6-cylinder in-line called the Blue Flame Six. The engine was running smoother than the V8.

The carburetor came from a single barrel carburetor.

 

Chevrolet ’57 Popularity:

From a numerical point of view, the Chevrolet ’57 was not as popular as General Motors had expected.

Despite its popularity, rival Ford Motor Company sold more than Chevrolet for the 1957 model year, for the first time since 1935.

The main cause of the displacement of Ford sales was the fact that the ’57 Chevrolet had tubeless tires, the first car with this.

This scared them away from Chevrolet sales to those of Ford because many people do not trust the new design without an air chamber. Ford introduced a new body design that was long, shorter and wider than last year’s offer that helped Ford sales.

However, the 1957 Ford is not as appreciated by collectors today as the 1957 Chevrolet.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Chevrolet ’57 was a popular used car and much appreciated “street machine” or race car in 1957.

The ideal size of ’57, combined with its relatively light weight compared to the most recent full-size cars, made it a favorite among drag racers.

The engine compartment was large enough to fit in GM’s large block engines, for the first time in 1958 and popularized in the 1960s by The Beach Boys in the song “409.”

.

What type of engine used the Chevrolet ’57?

 

There were three options, a basic six-cylinder in-line, of 3,849cc called Blue Flame Six that was already available for De Luxe models.

The 1957 model offered a power of 140 HP. 5-bed engine with a Rochester carburetor.

The big news: the renowned and famous V8 engine of 4,340cc and small block used for the first time in 1955 and 1956 that produced 162 or 170 HP, respectively.

And finally a new V8 with greater displacement, could give a power of 185, 220, 245, 250, 270 and 283 horses, depending on whether one or more carburetors and various mechanical adjustments were incorporated.

The new engine at peak performance achieved the amazing power of a horse for every cubic inch of travel.

For the first time in Chevrolet’s history, they presented a mechanical fuel injection system called “Ramjet” made of aluminum, and that was constituted in a whole technological innovation and even more so in a low-priced vehicle, as was the case of Chevrolet.

 

What were the Gearbox alternatives in a Chevrolet ’57?

Chevrolet offered several gearbox alternatives: a three-speed manual gearbox, operated from the steering column, (steering wheel lever) which it could have, or not.

In addition the well-known two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission forward (available on Chevrolet models since 1950) paying $ 188 more.

And the new three-speed automatic Turboglide adding to the price of the vehicle 230 dollars.

There were also many options available, to make the car more comfortable and luxurious.

Between them:

  • In 1957, Chevrolet began adding safety features such as “crash-proof locks” (first added in 1956), padded dashboards, and safety-style steering wheel with a recessed center.
  • 1957 was also Chevrolet’s first offer of a turbine transmission, known as the Turboglide.
  • One element of the mounted panel was the traffic light spectator, a corrugated plastic visor that was installed just above the speedometer.

Because the roof extends in front of the driver, it is difficult to see general traffic lights.

The traffic light viewer captures the reflection of the traffic lights above so that the driver does not have to lean forward to see beyond the edge of the roof.

 

Curiosity:

 

The Chevrolet ’57 won the 49 Grand National “cup” NASCAR races (more than any other car in NASCAR history).

He also won the Southern 500 (in 1957, 1958 and 1959); becoming the only car to win the 500 three times.

The first victory of a Chevrolet ’57 in a Formula One Grand National Series race was 1957 Virginia 500.

The ’57 also won 26 NASCAR “convertible” races, more than any brand, and won all three possible driving championships.

The first in convertible class in the 1959 Daytona 500 was a ’57 driven by Joe Lee Johnson.

Cocoa, characteristic fruit of the island of Cuba.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 484 2

Cocoa, a tropical plant from America, whose fruit receives the same name has become an essential food for all people due to its aroma and flavor.

Its fruit is usually used to make chocolate, since cocoa powder and butter are obtained from it, both when mixed with sugar give rise to different types of chocolate.

Read on, to learn more about this important topic.

 

Aspects to be treated:

  • What are the origins of cocoa?
  • When does Cocoa appear on the island of Cuba?
  • Interesting facts about Cocoa:

Culture

Tree and Fruit

  • How is Chocolate processed?
  • What types of Chocolate exist?
  • Is there a place on the island dedicated only to the sowing of cocoa?

 

What are the origins of cocoa?

 

According to historians, the appearance of Cocoa dates back to times as old as 800-1100 years before Christ, a product of evidence found in artistic manifestations such as sculptures, murals, bowls and vessels.

A sample of his presence was the finding of his hieroglyph in many containers, deciphered as ka-ka-wa in the form of fish.

The oldest was found in a Mayan burial in Guatemala in 1984, it is known as Río Azul vessel and dates back to 500 AD. C. s.

They have been the object of imagination in various Aztec paintings, where they were represented as tributes to the emperor and offerings to the dead.

 

When does Cocoa appear on the island of Cuba?

 

Already by 1492 with the arrival of the conquerors on Cuban shores, the inhabitants knew and dominated the cultivation of cocoa.

They even offered their deities their fruit and drank chocolate in rituals performed to name children, at weddings or funerals.

Extending the novelty to other regions of the world, chocolate became one of the delicacies of preference for figures such as María Teresa, wife of Luis XIV.

Over time, cocoa spread to the city of Baracoa, today the chocolate queen on the island due to its favorable climatic conditions and soil richness.

It is currently the producer of 75 percent of national cocoa.

It has a chocolate and powder chocolate factory, which has undergone several modernizations since its foundation in 1963.

 

Interesting facts about Cocoa:

 

  • Culture:

 

Cocoa began to be grown in small plots, until the mid-twentieth century that began to promote some species of bitter taste and low quality.

But in 1956 the situation began to change.

Research began to begin to improve plantations with the introduction of clones and hybrids from Costa Rica.

Already by 1959 with the triumph of the Revolution these works accelerated and new technologies began to appear for the benefit of cocoa crops.

One of them was the creation of several banks with a high genetic level that made plants and producers of a superior quality fruit more resistant.

 

  • Tree and Fruit:

The strange-looking tree that yields cocoa, is called Theobroma cacao, which in Greek means cocoa food of the gods, more than 200 years ago by the great botanist Carolus Linnaeus.

These trees grow only in the regions located in a strip of more or less 20 degrees around the line of Ecuador.

Violet red pods when tender and yellow when ripe, contain cocoa beans that grow directly on the tree trunk.

When opening the pods we find between 30 and 40 seeds, similar to almonds, covered with a pale yellow flesh, citrus flavor.

They contain among its components sugar, water and tannin, which is processed to obtain wines, vinegar and alcohols.

Another curiosity about the seeds of the fruit of the cocoa is that from its cover feed is manufactured and from the clean almond cocoa fat and other components are extracted.

However, from the shell of the fruits, organic matter is manufactured that improves soil conditions.

The plant that originates by means of seeds is of erect growth and can reach a height of five meters, the one born by stake is of open foliage and of smaller size.

 

How is Chocolate processed?

 

The process of making chocolate begins once the growers have collected the fruits of the cocoa, and open them by hitting with a machete to remove the beans.

The fruits are cut at their optimum moment of maturity, which is noted by the color and sound of the fruit when struck.

This harvesting process is essential for obtaining good quality grain.

 

Then the fresh grains are left to ferment in drawers at room temperature between 2 and 8 days.

In order to obtain grains in optimal conditions of flavor and aroma.

To do this, the grains are piled up and covered with banana leaves.

In the process the elimination of the mucilage that covers the almonds and the death of the embryo that is inside them occurs.

Once fermented, raw cocoa still contains 60% moisture, which should be reduced to 7%.

To do this, the beans spread on the ground exposing them to the sun.

This process will take a week although it can reach two or more depending on the ambient temperature of the place.

 

Once dried and cleaned, they are packed in jute or paper bags of about sixty kilos and stored under certain conditions of temperature and humidity.

 

After this process, the cocoa beans are sent to the chocolate manufacturers where they will finish the production process.

 

When the seeds arrive at their destination, they are roasted to help develop all their aromatic and flavor qualities.

The roasting is done at about 120-170 ° C and can last up to an hour depending on the size of the pimples or if they have been deprived of the skin.

 

Roasted cocoa beans are split and passed through steel rollers several times to remove the peel and be thin enough.

The pressure and friction produce a smooth but thick liquid mixture called cocoa liquor that will serve, either to make chocolate, or to make cocoa powder.

This paste is stored in the form of semi-solid cakes.

From here, cocoa paste can take several paths depending on its use.

To obtain the cocoa butter, the cocoa liquor is passed through a filter where the cocoa particles that are later used to make cocoa powder are retained.

This process helps eliminate acidity and bitterness typical of cocoa.

In the case of chocolate, unfiltered liquor is used.

 

In the kneader the ingredients are mixed and kneaded: cocoa paste, cocoa butter, sugar.

After this a homogeneous paste is obtained, prepared to pass again through the mill.

Which takes place in the refiner, where the size of all solid particles, especially cocoa and sugar, is reduced to about 25 microns.

Subsequently, in machines called shells, between 1,000 and 6,000 kg of chocolate dough are normally heated at a temperature of 80 ° C.

In this phase caramelization reactions occur.

For a period that oscillates between one and three days, the chocolate dough is refined in the shells, at a temperature between 50 ° C and 60 ° C.

 

To obtain adequate crystallization of cocoa butter, tempering is performed.

It consists in reducing the temperature of the chocolate by guaranteeing the crystallization of a minimum amount of butter in crystals of the stable type, while the crystals of the unstable type are ready to be molded.

Then it is reheated without exceeding 35 ° C.

 

At this time the chocolate is about to be molded.

In the molding process, the liquid mass of cocoa is poured into molds

 

And once the process is finished the final products are taken to the packaging machines and wrapped in aluminum foil.

Subsequently, individual packaging is carried out and the products are put in boxes and pallets.

 

What types of Chocolate exist?

 

  1. Dark chocolate.
  2. Chocolate with nuts or cereals
  3. Chocolate with fruits
  4. Milk chocolate.
  5. White chocolate.
  6. Liquid chocolate.

 

Is there a place on the island dedicated only to the sowing of cocoa?

 

Yes, one of them is the Cocoa Trail.

 

It is accessed from the country restaurant Finca Duaba, belonging to the Gaviota S.A. Tourism Group. in Villa Gaviota Baracoa.

It is the first cocoa trail in America. It has the cocoa house and other proposals to quench the thirst of people interested in the important and delicious product that is part of the local culture.

Mangos of Cuba

The most exquisite Tropical fruits you can try on your trip to Cuba.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 496 0

Undoubtedly, fruits constituted millions of years ago the first food of the ho for subsistence, when he had not yet learned to cultivate the land and took what nature offered for free. Over time he gained knowledge and began to expand them throughout the world, but Cuban fruits are unquestionably the most coveted.

Not only for its nutritional value but also for its exquisite flavor and aroma. There are many that are used for industrial purposes, that is, in cosmetics, pharmacology and food. If you plan to travel to Cuba, read on, so you can learn more about typical Cuban fruits.

TYPICAL CUBAN FRUITS

  • The banana.
  • The coconut.
  • The Mango.

  • The melon.

  • Papaya.

  • The mamey.

  • The maracuyá.

  • The Grapefruit.

 

The Cuban Banana

Banana, or banana, was probably one of the first species that spread spontaneously and one of the first to be cultivated.

Although it is originally from India, it adapted very easily in many countries of tropical America.

Being one of the highly esteemed fruits in Europe to where a large export flows.

 

The Cuba Banana can be used in different ways:

  1. Whether as a dessert fruit, served whole and using the peel to hold it without the hands coming into contact with the pulp directly.
  2. In pieces it is incorporated into fruit salads, jellies and other desserts, as well as smoothies and other drinks.
  3. Due to its high energy intake and its high potassium content, it is often consumed among athletes and bodybuilders.
  4. Cooked, it is used as an accompaniment for some meats in tropical recipes, as well as in Cuban rice.
  5. With brown sugar, lemon juice or vinegar and spices, sauces or jams are prepared, sometimes very spicy.
  6. They are used to prepare mash, a very frequent food for children.
  7. Another way to consume them is cooked, that is, ripe bananas are fried in butter or oil.
  8. In the form of tostones (mashed and fried banana slices) they are served to accompany meats.

 

 

Cuban Coconut

It is an edible fruit obtained from the coconut palm, the most cultivated palm in the world.

In Cuba they grow in some places, especially in coasts and beaches, giving the landscape a special attraction, as in other Caribbean islands.

It is characterized by having a juicy pulp and an exquisite water inside, the presence of it is checked by mild agitation.

 

Due to its pleasant and refreshing taste, different uses have been attributed to it:

  1. In cosmetic products or in pharmacies, for the great fat and coconut oil it has.
  2. In many places they are used to drink the liquid it contains – coconut water – poured into a container or, more commonly drink it from the coconut itself.
  3. Used in diseases for its excellent medicinal properties.
  4. It is useful for making saoco, a typically tropical and Cuban drink, which is prepared with coconut water, combined with brandy.
  5. Coconut oil is used to make some packaged industrial confectionery products.

 

Cuban Mango

Mango is recognized as one of the best and most delicate fruits in the world.

Not only for its colorful appeal, and exquisite flavor but also for its nutritional values:

  1. It provides a significant amount of carbohydrates so its caloric value is high.
  2. It is rich in magnesium and as for vitamins it is rich in provitamin A and C; Both vitamins also have an antioxidant effect.

 

Apparently it is native to northwestern India and northern Burma on the slopes of the Himalayas and possibly also Ceylon.

But it was not until the year 1793 that the first mango seeds from Jamaica landed through the port of Havana that were sown on the farms outside the walls, in the lands of the Counts of Jibacoa, where Galiano Avenue is today.

From there they spread throughout the island, although it is not ruled out that from Jamaica more seeds have arrived to the east.

Hence, it is impossible to believe that about 200 years ago in Cuba there was not a single tree of the exquisite fruit when today there is a large amount.

Forms of employment od Cuban Mango:

  1. The pulp that is obtained is used in the elaboration of concentrated puree, compotes, nectar and jams, destined for export, tourism and the national market.
  2. Much of the crushed mango is used in the manufacture of mash in aseptic bags for shipping to European countries, where it has gained great prestige for its quality.

 

The Cuban Watermelon

Melon or watermelon comes from tropical Africa.

It is a spherical fruit, fragrant and highly esteemed for its pleasant and characteristic flavor.

Its quality depends on the color, juicy content and cultivation mode; but there is no doubt that it is necessary to open it and try it.

Among its nutritional properties are: the amount of minerals it provides such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium; and 80% of its composition is water.

Hence it is an ideal moisturizer, so it can be consumed in the desired amount without fear of ingesting excess calories or sugars.

It is a diuretic fruit par excellence, and therefore recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure or blood vessel conditions.

 

The ways to consume the melon are very varied:

  1. The most common way to consume it is in its natural state.
  2. Also in both sweet and savory preparations.
  3. It is ideal for making compotes, jams, creams, and preparing.

 

 

Cuban Papaya or “Frutabomba”

Native to tropical America, its fruit is similar to that of melon.

Among the properties it presents are the following:

  1. It constitutes a good diuretic (water) for presenting 90 percent of water.
  2. Increase natural defenses (vitamin C), that is, 100 grams of food cover one hundred percent of the daily recommended amount for an average adult.It provides even more vitamin C than orange!
  3. It improves skin health (vitamin A) as it covers 25 percent of the recommended daily amount of this nutrient for an average adult.
  4. Cardiovascular disease prevention
  5. Restores the acid-base balance of the body as it contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

 

You should be careful with the way you use the word “Papaya” in Cuba, as it also refers to the intimate parts of women.

 

El Mamey

One of the most delicious fruits on the palate is the mamey, its most exact origin is in Mesoamerica.

It is one of the most beautiful and appreciated fruits of tropical flora, its thick red mass is very sweet and aromatic.

There is another variety, called mamey de Santo Domingo, with yellow flesh, sweet and very pleasant.

Its flavor is sweet, with a delicious orange pulp turning reddish and with a seed of about 10 centimeters dark brown or black.

 

The use of the Cuban Mamey is very varied:

  1. Mamey can be eaten raw as a fruit, or also in ice cream, smoothie.
  2. It can also be found in jam or in the form of jelly.
  3. It is usually used as an aphrodisiac.
  4. The seed in the form of oil – sapayul oil, is also used in beauty products.
  5. It is ideal to stop bleeding from wounds due to tannin (substance that is extracted from the bark of trees), contained in its leaves.

 

 

The Maracuyá

It is an oval, hard-shell fruit that contains seeds.

Some of the benefits offered by this food are:

  1. Reduces muscle and headaches and relieves the body fighting stress and insomnia.
  2. Eliminates cough and respiratory problems.
  3. It provides the body with vitamins A and C and the B complex, as well as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  4. It is ideal for constipation due to its high fiber content.
  5. It helps to lose weight and take care of the line.
  6. It helps strengthen the immune system.
  7. Its seeds have an oil that help contribute to skin care.

 

 

The Grapefruit

It is a citrus native to Southeast Asia, but its cultivation has been spreading to countries such as Israel, Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries and to states such as Florida and California in the United States.

Its shape is like that of an orange, but larger and is yellow like lemon, although there are varieties of colors.

Its taste is somewhat bitter, although they can be sweet, both very pleasant to the palate.

They are tasty by themselves or by adding them to any fruit or green salad.

They are also a delicious and unique ingredient in sauces

It contains 32 calories per 100 grams and 90% water.

 

Among its medicinal uses are:

  1. It exerts a diuretic effect, being ideal in situations of heart failure and hypertension due to its low sodium intake and its high potassium content
  2. Its high content of vitamin C is beneficial in cases of infections, since this vitamin stimulates the functions of the immune system.
  3. Its habitual consumption prevents cancer thanks to the excellent combination of limonoids, vitamin C and pectin.

The worst mistake you can make is to visit Cuba and not taste a delicious Cuban rum.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 386 0

One of the things that you can not stop doing in your visit to Cuba is to enjoy the sweet, dry, and aged aroma of Cuban rum.

Drink born of sugar cane that over time has reached a privileged place in the economic and tourist gear of the island, and from which famous cocktails like Cuba Libre, Mojito and Daiquiri came to life.

It condenses the history, culture and the true essence of the Cuban. Hence, it is preferred by everyone who visits the island.

Read on to learn more about Cuban Rums.

 

Aspects related to the topic:

  • What is the history of Cuban rums?
  • What is the secret of the quality of Cuban rum?
  • What types of Cuban rums are there?
  • Where to buy these Cuban rums?
  • What should be taken into account when choosing a certain rum?

 

What is the history of Cuban rums?

 

Cuba’s rum and history are inseparable.

Their relationship began with the introduction of sugarcane by Christopher Columbus in the first years of his arrival in Cuba, his growth was mainly due to the tropical climate present on the island and the fertility of the soil.

And once grown the Spaniards used to produce a fermented called tafia, the ancestor of the rum that we know today.

The idyll lasted little: fearing that Spanish products lost their place in the market, the Crown prohibited the production of distillates in Cuba.

It was four centuries later (in 1800) that Pedro Diago -considered the father of the rum- introduced the copper stills and the idea of ??aging the brandy in wooden jars.

This is how a lighter rum called ‘superior rum’ came into being, with a refined taste (more subtle and caramelized alcoholic beating) that was popularized in the Spanish court and in the British colonies.

But this also did not last forever.

One hundred years later, many of the distilleries closed or moved after the revolution, as a result of the trade blockade that the United States imposed on Cuban products.

At this time only a couple of the distilleries remained: Legendary and Havana Club.

The second, above all, adopted the mission of defending the fame and quality of Cuban rum in the world.

And so they became very famous on the island.

 

What is the secret of the quality of Cuban rum?

 

Behind the secrets of Cuban rum, there is a man essential, the master, master and master of the winery, Master Ronero.

On one occasion, speaking as the First Master Ronero of Havana Club, José Navarro, he told us about his work and stated that in Cuban rum there was no secret in its manufacture.

Its quality is not due to a well-kept formula, only to “a culture inherited and transmitted from generation to generation, from Cuban to Cuban, from heart to heart …”.

 

What types of Cuban rums are there?

 

Today, in the international market, more and more prestigious rum brands of Cuban origin are bursting with increasing intensity, which stand out for their quality thanks to exquisite products, among which are:

 

  1. Havana Club:

 

 

Distributed by the French company Pernod-Ricard, the Havana Club brand is considered the best-known Cuban rum in the world and the main “raw material” of Cuba’s rich cocktail bar.

This brand has kept alive the art of aging. It is marketed on the entire planet.

Its emblem is La Giraldilla, a statuette also the symbol of the city of Havana.

It has a wide arsenal among the best known are:

  • Havana Club 3 Years widely used in the preparation of Cuban cocktails (Cuba Libre, Piña Colada, Mojito, Daiquiri, among others);
  • Havana Club Special, Havana Club 7 Years;
  • Havana Club Teacher Selection;
  • Havana Club 15 Years and
  • Havana Club Máximo (the most expensive manufactured by the brand so far).

 

2. Santiago de Cuba:

 

 

It is one of the oldest since it has a century and a half of creation and It belongs to the cradle of light rum par excellence and constitutes one of the most elitist and exclusive brands of Cuba.

It was the Bacardi rum factory before the Cuban revolution, intervened by the government in the first years; hence the conflicts that do not seem to reach the end between both brands.

In Cuba by seasons it is easy to find the Santiago de Cuba (white) but it is really difficult to find the Santiago de Cuba Añejo (dark)

THERE IF YOU FIND IT through the streets during your visit to the island do not hesitate to buy it, you will not regret .

The Santiago de Cuba 500 rum is one of the most exclusive spirits of the Corporación Cuba Ron S.A and Cuban rum in general.

This Rum, produced exclusively in the Ronera of Santiago de Cuba was registered as a Three-dimensional Mark in the trademark registration of the Intellectual Property Office of the European Union.

 

3. Legendary:

 

This brand was founded in 1946 and offers merchandise elaborated in the old style with the use of American oak barrels, the use of silica sand or the filtering from the double bottom of the tanks.

This line is somewhat sweeter compared to other types of rum in Cuba.

Among the most popular is the Legendary Elixir, which is similar to a liqueur although it does not stop being rum and the Legendary 7 Years equally exquisite.

 

4. Cubay:

 

This Cuban Rum, in the modality of Extra White White Card, has been awarded in international events, even in blind tastings where it has been successful as best White Rum, best Golden Rum and Premium Rum, first quality.

 

5. Mulata:

 

It is a mixture of spirits, demineralised water and additives, but its main ingredient is sugarcane whose rigorous selection has an impact on the optimum quality of the molasses.

Its manufacturer is Tecnoazúcar.

It constitutes another important line of rum, among them the Mulata Añejo 15 years.

 

6. Pearl of the North:

 

 

It is one of the youngest lines of rum on the island but paradoxically it is manufactured in one of the oldest rum factories in Cuba, the popularly known “Arrechavala” family name to which he belonged until the first years of the Cuban revolution when the factory was nationalized.

This famous rum factory for some years served as a refinery for Havana Club rum.

It is located in Cárdenas just 15 minutes from Varadero.

 

7. Arecha:

 

Founded in the 19th century, it accumulates the expertise of the best rum masters.

They maintain a tradition to elaborate it that dates back more than 80 years and still continues in force.

It also has a unique flavor from the region of the country where it is produced.

 

8. Edmundo Dantes:

 

Marked by the exclusivity and excellence of this drink native to eastern Cuba, only three thousand bottles are produced annually.

It leaves the palate a light vanilla taste and has a golden color that puts it on the list of the most appreciated rum industry products in the world.

 

9. Caney:

 

Also elaborated to the archaic method, it has its base in the sugar cane with the unique flavor of the eastern lands that gives rise to an unparalleled drink.

It is most popular in the eastern region of the country.

 

Where to buy these Cuban rums?

 

If you want to buy Cuban rums, you can go to any store in Havana and ask, usually there is always.

Another place, La Casa del Ron in Varadero, not only offers different varieties of Cuban rum, but also combines the pleasure of tasting good liquor with history.

What should be taken into account when choosing a certain rum?

 

There are many variants of rum: white, golden, aged, black, fruity, premium … and each of them has its peculiarities.

 

1. Ron Blanco

 

It is the most popular of all and due to the neutrality in its flavor, it is ideal to combine with soft drink, mineral water or fruit juice, which makes it the favorite of many when preparing a good cocktail or a refreshing mojito.

 

2. Golden Ron

 

Its flavor is usually stronger and more penetrating, which is why many experts use it to prepare a good free Cuba.

 

3. Ron Añejo

 

The aged rum is a little stronger and its flavors are more complex. When it is a good aged rum, it is recommended to take it alone, with an ice or a little mineral water.

 

4. Black Rum

 

Its time of aging in barrels is usually greater, hence the color so dark it acquires.

For many it is the rum that has more flavor, so it is recommended to take it alone, with a little water or a few drops of lemon.

 

5. Ron Gran Reserva or Premium

 

His name says it all.

It usually has a lot of character and at the same time softness.

The experts consider that this type of rums should never be mixed, since the elaboration of a rum of this quality has a special aging in reserved barrels of each distilling house.

:

Varadero, main tourist pole of Sun and Beach in Cuba.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 391 3

The extensive Peninsula of Hicacos has become one of the main tourist poles of the country because it hosts the most famous beach resort on the island.

An infinite range of beautiful, shallow beaches that have a perfect temperature for swimming and white sands ideal for those seeking perfect holidays make Varadero an unforgettable and unrepeatable destination.

Reason why it was awarded the second place in the list of the best beaches in the world, according to the Travelers’Choice 2019 awards, organized by the largest travel website TripAdvisor.

But Varadero is not only Sun and Beach, it has other attractions that make it unique.

Hence, traveling to Cuba and not visiting Varadero, would be total nonsense.

 

Aspects to be treated:

 

  1. How to get to Varadero?
  2. Interesting aspects about the city of Varadero
  3. Why is Varadero beach considered one of the best three beaches in the world?
  4. Varadero is only Sun and Beach?
  5. What else can be done in Varadero?
  • The Varadero Golf Club
  • Josone Park
  • House of the Rum
  • Craft Markets on First Avenue
  • Excursions to other places outside of Varadero

6. Where to stay once in Varadero?

 

How to get to Varadero?

 

Varadero is just over two hours from Havana, connected directly to the capital by Vía Blanca, a highway of excellent quality.

The services of taxis and buses go regularly from Havana to Varadero.

The price of taxis ranges between 90 and 120 CUC depending on the season, this according to travelers is the best way to travel since you can enjoy a beautiful ride along the north coast, passing through Matanzas.

Another way to go to Varadero is directly from the Juan G. Gómez Airport, a smaller airport that is barely 10 km from Varadero.

 

Interesting aspects about the city of Varadero:

 

Varadero is the main destination of Sol y Playa de Cuba.

It is around 22 kilometers long with white sands and crystal clear waters that envelop each of its visitors.

It has a dazzling landscape, a special atmosphere of bars and restaurants where you can taste the most delicious cocktails and delicious meals.

It has a feature that characterizes it and the difference from the rest: the cliffs of marine origin formed by successive waves, as wonderful as the beach itself.

It also has an underwater world as colorful as Cuban culture.

Hence, it is the perfect complement to any holiday itinerary.

 

Why is Varadero beach considered one of the best three beaches in the world?

 

The beach of Varadero has an extraordinary transparency.

They are warm and shallow waters, white sand and a sea of ??many different blues where sea birds flit under a radiant sun, has a beauty and extraordinary cleanliness.

Although some prefer to enjoy it from the surface in sailboats, catamarans or sailing tables ….

The fascinating thing is when you submerge yourself and let yourself be carried away by the current.

On the seabed of Varadero you can see diversities of corals, fish, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, loggerheads and different types of molluscs that will cause the amazement of even the most experienced diver.

Such is the case of Playa Coral, which has one of the largest coral reefs in the country where you can enjoy more than 50 species of coral and more than 50 species of fish.

But, diving has its main course in the so-called Blue Hole Ojo del Mégano, a huge cavern 70 meters in diameter, where coral barriers and enormous schools of multicolored fish prevail.

Likewise, the Cayo Piedras del Norte marine park is located, the first and only attraction of its existing type that occupies an area of ??two nautical miles square.

Marinas such as Chapelin, Dársena de Varadero and Gaviota guarantee the conditions and means for the practice of immersionism, with appropriate boats, trained personnel, dive teaching centers, hyperbaric chambers and the necessary transportation for any emergency.

 

Varadero is only Sun and Beach?

 

Well, no.

Only those who visit the city for the first time confuse this Caribbean island as an exclusive destination for sun and sand.

 

What else can be done in Varadero?

 

One of the best things about this coastal city is the wide range of activities on offer, there is plenty to entertain travelers of all ages whether young, old or elderly.

In the city you can listen to the famous band Buena Vista Social Club in one of the rooms of the Plaza América Convention Center, get to know the Tropicana Varadero or the Continental Cabaret with its show of Cuban rhythms.

In the evening you can go to La Casa de la Música located in Varadero (Calle 42), here they offer live music and have the opportunity to practice some salsa steps.

Once the show ends, a DJ takes the stage to put the best lists of songs updated.

Other popular options include La Rumba, La Bamba, Pirate Cave, La Comparsita and Habana Café.

 

If you want you can go to:

 

The Varadero Golf Club

 

It is the only golf club in Cuba.

It has an 18-hole course with different levels of difficulty, some of them facing the ocean.

When visiting, in addition to playing a round of this relaxing sport, you will meet the splendid clubhouse known as “Villa Du Pont”, a hacienda-style mansion built in 1928 by Irénée du Pont, an American businessman of great influence in the city.

The village, also known as Xanadu, has been preserved as a time capsule, manifested in its fine decoration, exquisite furniture and ancient paintings.

Located on the top of a cliff offers the best views of the sea.

 

Josone Park

 

This huge garden located in the center of the city is a great option to take a walk with family and friends.

The Josone Park is an especially romantic place.

Here you can find different types of birds native to the region, as well as playgrounds, craft shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

It also has a small lake on which you can navigate in boats.

To visit it is to stop in time in an atmosphere full of magic and colors.

 

House of the Rum

 

Located in the center of the city of Varadero, the store known as the House of Rum is a must for all lovers of Cuban drink and for those who are interested in learning about the different varieties of rum.

Here you can enjoy a variety of liqueurs, which are also offered for sale, with different types of cigars and coffee.

A large model at the entrance, allows you to learn about the traditional process of making rum, representing the different places of storage and distillery.

You can also appreciate a beautiful sculptor of the Greek god of wine who welcomes visitors.

 

Craft Markets on First Avenue

 

Another activity that you can not stop doing in Varadero is the purchase of handicrafts and souvenirs typical of the region, among which are the famous Cuban cigars and wood crafts.

Although within Varadero, there are several places to buy, for its variety and prices, the best alternatives are concentrated in the artisanal markets of the city center.

 

Excursions to other places outside of Varadero

 

The excursions include excursions to the city of Havana, this is the most liked by customers because of its proximity to the capital of the island.

Excursions are also offered to Matanzas, the Zapata Swamp with the very famous Bay of Pigs and the largest crocodile farm in Cuba and the Caribbean; Long Beach and the Saturno Caves.

 

A catamaran trip to Cayo Blanco and swimming with dolphins are particularly popular options.

If you are a lover of excursions, you can visit the Bellamar Caves in Matanzas.

This is considered one of the most beautiful underground caverns of Cuba, with a set of galleries that cover about 23 kilometers in length, covered by stalactites and stalagmites.

In addition to a large number of crystal formations transparent and shiny appearance.

Among its galleries, highlights the beauty of the “Manto de Colón”, the largest and oldest, reaching 12 meters high.

 

Where to stay once in Varadero?

 

If you want to enjoy Varadero even more, do not hesitate to stay more days.

It can be in a hostel, or in the different hotels that exist in the city, all with excellent attention and spectacular beauty.

But I recommend the Ocean Vista Azul Hotel, 5 star hotel, all inclusive.

Located on the beach of Varadero, on a cliff with stunning views of the sea.

It has a spectacular infinity pool, spacious and bright rooms, themed restaurants, the Despacio Beauty Center, Privilege service and Exclusive Rooms and Services.

 

Recommended for families, couples, weddings and honeymoons.

Everything you need to relax and feel at home.