Food Schmooze® listener and world traveler Pamela Van Zandt of East Hampton, LI, sent us this correspondence from her recent adventure in Cuba:
Cuba—the land of coffee, Rum, and aromatic cigars.
So we drink the coffee (con leche) and we certainly have made a habit of ordering lots of mojitos whenever we bend the elbow but so far no cigar.
Or, that was yesterday.
Today we went walking through the fields, back, back in time where ox carts pull plows that cut the earth for manioc, taro root, pineapple, and such things. Back to where the pig is roasted whole and crackle goes the snap of the crisp skin.
Here, among four generations, we sat in a hut and shared their lunch. And when it was over, the head of the family rolled cigars for us from the leaves he himself had grown, picked, dried, sheltered for months and lovingly prepared. He laid out the shriveled leaves of differing sizes and nicotine for the varying parts of the roll and filled a bottle cap from local honey bees to glue it all together. He pressed it and rolled it, and rubbed it and smoothed it down to a fine looking cylinder, chopped off the end and with a broad smile lit a match. With his hat pushed up and his mustache up turned he blew a slow stream of smoke and offered it around.
I passed, but most others were game.
And so now I guess you know what you’re getting for Christmas ; )
—Pamela van Zandt