Cubans Are Carnivores Despite the Scarcity
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 10 May 2017 — Meat has almost
magical connotations in Cuban culture. When children get sick, the
grandmothers make them a good chicken soup or a broth with a piece of
beef. If someone feels weak they recommend eating a steak and there is
no more recurring dream for these homes than to look out for a dish
where they mix the masa de cerdo, ropa vieja and tasajo.
This fascination with the meat has increased due to the shortages of the
product in the last decades. The deterioration of the national livestock
industry and the restrictions on farmers trading directly in beef have
made this an ingredient that is missing in kitchens and highly prized in
the informal market.
Families are divided between those who manage to eat meat once a week
and those who only see it pass by their tables a few days a month, or
even year. On this island social differences are expressed in the form
of cutlets, sirloin and fillets. There are those who can barely access
products derived from pork and those a little higher on the economic
scale and can be permit themselves a piece of beef.
While in other countries, vegetarians and vegans proliferate, many
Cubans consider themselves carnivorous. A definition that is pronounced
with a certain vibe, salivating and showing teeth, especially those
fangs that are used a few times a year.
Source: Cubans Are Carnivores Despite the Scarcity – Translating Cuba –