Where I just visited is a mountainous area, there in the municipality of Petit, between the Venezuela mountains and the Caribbean Sea. The farm population there usually eat a type of bread similar to the Mexican taco, but much thicker; and since it’s made from corn, it’s called “arepa”.
Cubans usually try it with reluctance, but with voraciousness I’m continuing to appreciate Venezuelan cuisine, from the city and the country. This is because after going up and down the hills there’s nothing like a plate of kinchoncho (lazy bone bean stew), accompanied by two or three arepas.
And if you’re in a place like El Pozón, you are ever grateful for this opportunity.
The owner of this country-inn loves to eat everything from ornamental to medicinal plants. Traveling around his property is like being in a vegetarian paradise.
Warning Havana Times writers! – among whom there are so many vegetarians that they might want to move en masse to this small corner of the Venezuelan mountains.
The guava plants grow to sizes I’ve never seen before, while the insects collect around their fruit as if they themselves were part of the tree. The flowers are of such living beauty that you feel the desire to collect them in your backpack for replanting at home. At the same time, the birds feel themselves the owners of the air and of the hundreds of trees that surround the inn.
I didn’t dare to try the local “snake rum”; they say that you should only drink it by the spoonful and that it’s good for many ailments. However, what did indeed perk me up was when I tried “cocuy,” a drink that —like tequila— which is made from the spiny agave plant. We all agreed (with a pardon to the Mexicans) that cocuy has a flavor that is more pleasant to the palate… and is made in colors… and drinks.
They say that there are lots of snakes in that area, and that the most effective antidote to their poison is deer urine. Fortunately the only place I ran into a snake was inside the large bottle of medicinal rum, otherwise I would have been spending the rest of the time chasing behind some deer… which, by the way, after several days there, I didn’t see a single one. So what do you do to find deer urine? That question I leave pending for the next visit.
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