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Cuban Black Market Food

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Cuban Black Market Food

Ron | Sep 26, 2002 04:13 PM

This is more just a story than anything helpful, but it's too funny not to pass on. Food in Cuba is more than just a disappointment for a Hound and one of the reasons is the limitation on what ingredients chefs can get hold of.

By law, only state-run restaurants are allowed to serve shellfish in Cuba. Cuba is, however, as the Cuban government cannot have failed to notice, an island. Which means that it's not very hard for people to scoop stuff out of the ocean. Stuff like shellfish.

This has created a booming black market in shellfish for Los turistos. If it's anywhere close to a mealtime and you're in an area frequented by tourists you will be approached by men sticking their heads out of dark alleys and whispering "langostas, camarones." (lobster, shrimp.) It's just like New York in the bad old days with guys whispering, "rock, blow." I have to say, eating food that's actually illegal makes it just a little tastier.

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