HAVANA TIMES – I want to tell you how the day-to-day is being lived in Cuba at this moment. Those who know my country know the difficulty that most Cubans have always gone through to cover our basic needs and that more than living, we have become accustomed to subsisting.
With the current crisis situation we are in, shortages abound of all kinds of products, whether for personal hygiene or food, as we try to get what we need most urgently or what we can. This has generated a change in habits and tastes.
For example, today, even the toothpaste sold at the ration stores, that nobody likes, preferring imported ones, is not available anywhere and has become one of the most coveted and sought-after products. Not to mention imported toothpaste.
I mention toothpaste just to give you an idea.
Another “missing” item at stores is the tomato puree. Until recently I didn’t like the one they sell in the agro-markets and now it seems very good to me. I thank the people, farmers, who produce it and who even add their own label. They are doing something so necessary, seasoned with onion and garlic, which makes it healthier and fresher. Thanks to them the people can obtain a national product, which right now does not exist in state stores.
In this way the ordinary Cuban can eat some spaghetti with natural tomato puree and season their food with sautéed ingredients. These farmers also prepare vinegar, dry wine, canned chili, dehydrated garlic etc. I am sure that if they had better conditions and resources, the presentation of their products and packaging would be better.
Another thing new for us is to eat without rice, which for the Cuban is like a sacrilege to which we have had to get used to these days, having to substitute it with corn flour, spaghetti, tubers and plantains, which I think are actually better foods, but more expensive . For example, chopo a tuber is at 6 pesos a pound, the sweet potato at 4 pesos a pound, plantains at 3 pesos each, etc.
Meat products have become a nightmare. To eat chicken or hash, you have to get in a line for up to three days to get a ticket so you might have the right to buy when the truck arrives. As to eggs, I can only tell you, that the hens haven’t recovered from the stress of the last hurricane.
That’s all I wanted to tell you.