What regular Cubans eat

Not much. And they almost never season their food. No salt, no spices. They have ration cards they use to get the basic supplies like rice, cooking oil and flower from state-run stores. Other items they can buy include the always present canned tomatoes and depending on the location you can find pasta, olives green / black and Nestle biscuits.

How about meat? Well meat is a tricky thing. First I personally have not seen any refrigerated trucks in Cuba, I heard they exist but I haven’t seen any with my own eyes, and believe me, I looked for them! Instead I’ve seen raw meat being transported in the tropical sun with a flat-bed truck directly on it’s rusted bed next o boloney.  Second, different people have access to different meat, for most Cubans is chicken, pork or turkey boloney. Tourists can also get beef and lobster at restaurants at a much higher price.


There are special bread shops that sell buns and regular loafs of bread really cheap. Also there are a lot of cake shops (cafeteria) where you can get different kind of pastries like croissants and home-made style cakes quite cheaply.

Avocado, papayas, yucca, rice & beans are readily available at street markets. A bunch of bananas costs 10 CUP, around half a dollar. Cuba is one of the world leaders in organic farming mainly due to the fact they don’t have money for fertilizer and other chemicals. Also, the “Special Period” – the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union has sprung up many subsistence farms inside Havana city limits, even tough they were considered illegal.

cuban market

Their prices include:

a pound of onions (0.43kg) – 30 CUP

a pund of peppers – 20 CUP

a headr of garlic – 3 CUP

an avocado – 10 CUP

a pund of rice – 5 CUP

a pund o balck beans – 14 CUP

a pund of pork steak – 40 CUP

a pund of mango – 2 CUP

a lof of bread  (about a pond’s worth) – 10 CUP

flower shop in cuba

The government has a milk program for children under 7 and senior citizens over 65 (at least it used to have – things change all the time in Cuba) so the only milk available is powdered milk – mix with water and throw it away  :)

cuban pasta

Typical Cuban home-made meal: Boiled pasta with canned tomatoes and turkey boloney. With a side of avocado and some suspicious leafs – previously wrapped in a newspaper – salad. To be served with lots of rum & coke so you’ll forget you’re hungry. I’m not criticizing the chef, it’s just that they don’t have anything else to work with and I really respect the fact they always try their best.

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