Thu | Sep 21, 2017

A Taste of Cuba

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara serves as a backdrop for a display window of sandwiches at a food store in Havana. Most eateries have ham and cheese sandwiches, called a Cuban in the United States but jamon y queso in Cuba.
This screenshot of ATasteofCuba.org shows the website of Alain Gutierrez, a Cuban food blogger who is passionate about preserving and promoting traditional Cuban cuisine
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(AP)

In a country where many people lack Internet access, Alain Gutierrez, 40, is making his mark online. He's a Cuban food blogger with a website called ATasteofCuba.org. He's passionate about promoting traditional Cuban cuisine, and his dreams could be fuelled if the island's evolving restaurant scene makes it a destination for foodies.

Gutierrez takes photos, makes videos and writes about Cuban food - restaurants, chefs, recipes, culinary traditions. He contributes to a bimonthly magazine, On Cuba, that's available online and even in print in a few places in Florida. But he dreams of launching a digital magazine devoted to Cuban food that could potentially be supported by advertising from the culinary world.

An American food and culture writer, Anne Katata, wants him to shoot photos for a book she's planning on "paladares," privately run Cuban restaurants. They'd also like to lead Cuban food tours. And some day, Gutierrez hopes to study food styling in America.

At a restaurant he likes, Cafe Ajiaco in Cojimar, near Havana, he points to dishes like fritters made from meat, sweet potatoes and corn, and Monteria, shredded pork with vegetables.

"I'm trying to contribute to the rescue of the roots of my food and my culture," he says. "I come from a really poor family. But my mom cooked really good."