Sweeten up your Cuba vacation!
I must admit I am not a huge chocolate fan. But Baracoa is famous for its tasty food and chocolate. Trying it here, knowing of all the cocoa plantations there are in the area, reading about the factory opened in the area by Ernesto Che Guevara, Baracoa chocolate tasting seemed like a must. I must admit I was not impressed: European palates are used to much more refined quality, while this one was quite rustic – but possibly more genuine.
I had also read on my Lonely Planet that there was a chocolate factory cafe in the main street of Baracoa, so I eagerly went in to have a sample. Showing a deep interest for the various kinds of chocolates exposed – ie milk chocolate, plain chocolate in different shapes and sizes – I gazed at the window and enquired about the supposedly delicious cakes and drinks. I then ordered a slice of cake and a cup of cold chocolate milk with a “bola de chocolate” – which turned out to be just a ball of plain chocolate. I added to this a number of different chocolates with various fillings. Definitely too much for someone who doesn’t really love chocolate. But hey, it was cheap!
I then sat and waited to be served. When the waitress placed my order on the table, I decided I would first try the chocolates. They were OK, but nothing really special. I moved to the chocolate milk, which to me was tasteless. I concluded with the cake, which I found dry, almost as it was old. The quality of the chocolate was strikingly at odds with that of the rest of the food I had tried in Cuba.
Feeling like my passion for chocolate was not increasing, I decided to ask for the check and leave, despite a bit guilty for not eating 1/4 of what I had ordered. I thus asked if I could have a box to carry the cake with me – I would eventually give it to some child. There must have been a misunderstanding though, as to my horror, the waitress arrived with another slice of cake which I quickly sent back, deciding a paper tissue would make do for the left over cake. I eventually threw it away. But then I went to a cocoa plantation and for a very cheap price I got pure cocoa poweder and two HUGE bolas (balls) of chocolate. Back home, I baked a luxurious chocolate soufflè, adding some extra sugar as the cocoa I bought didn’t have any. Guess what? It was delicious!
Care to know more about my Cuban adventures? Read here!