Special Programs

  • Look here for upcoming Special Events, Special Tours to join, and Special Pricing





  • A great month for gardens, celebrations, and all of our tours

November 2013

  • Bi-annual International Choral Festival. Calling all choristers and music lovers – international choirs invited. Non-competitive festival.

For the Love of Food

I was going over the menus we have used in the last couple of months, and realized how much we have come to rely on a new Indian Cookbook we were given. Victoria Sidhu – Rani to her friends and readers, has presented more than another cookbook of Indian food. The book includes her romantic story of falling in love and going to India. The food is from the Punjab, redolent with fragrant spices, full of veggies, our clients have loved every mouthful. For those not accustomed to Indian food, Rani has prepared suggested menus, so if you just want something different as a starter, browse the menus and get tempted into several.

Living in Santiago de Cuba, you get used to wonderful fruits and vegetables that encourage you to experiment. Yesterday for the vegan staying with us – crispy fried potatoes (yes there were actual potatoes in the market) and fresh okra crispy fried, and onions the same, then baked to get rid of the oil and tossed in spices – what a feast of tastes!

One of the great benefits of the Special Period, is that it forced Cuba to start along the road to food self-sufficiency. As a result we have organic vegetables as the norm, not an expensive option. And most of our vegetables grow very near the city, with just a few kilometers between the farm gate and the market.

And every year there is more variety, more flavour, better conditions, and longer seasons. One of the difficulties has been seeds. All seeds and plants react to daylight hours, which is why Italian and southern French grapes grow wonderfully in California, or in Niagara, and not at all in more northern climes, no matter the temperature. You can travel your seeds east and west, not north and south! At the start of the Special Period, Cuba was importing its seeds. Beetroot came from Holland and Japan, carrots from Europe. The yields were low and the vegetables strange tasting. Even tropical vegetables had low yields, and without fertilizer and pest control the losses were high.

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