Tips for vegans and vegetarians

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Cuba is not really that popular for its culinary creations. However, this is changing a lot. As it is with all things in life you have to go far, wide and deep to find the things that you want. I am someone who eats mostly vegan and living in Berlin has given me the opportunity to nourish myself this way with no problems whatsoever. However, in Cuba that was not always the case and i had to adapt and switch up my nutrition while i was there.

Cuban people found it a bit hard to understand what i meant by vegan “No meat, not even chicken?” is a question that i got asked often when i ordered rice and beans with no pollo “sin carne”.

I talked to a Cuban student and he had told me that he would love to nourish himself in a vegetarian way. However, he said that in Cuba there is not much food choice so it would make it very difficult for him to get all the proteins and vitamins that he would need to stay healthy. So vegetarianism or veganism is not necessarily shunned upon, it is  just very hard to do given the limited availability of variety of food.

I think it is doable to be vegan in Cuba if you have your own kitchen and are ready to spend some time cooking. So maybe this would be something to consider when you are looking for housing. Luckily, during my time in Cuba it was Avocado season so i got to eat tons of those. Also, guava was in season and baby bananas.

Ask the locals what fruit and vegetables are currently in season. Also go to the local market and buy fresh and cheap produce. All agricultural products at the local markets should be paid in CUP as these are national products, at the front of the market there is usually a big blackboard that shows the prices of the day, make sure to check that out before you start shopping.

I would also advice to take some Vitamins with you and to maybe take some peanut butter and some rye bread with you, most casa’s have fridges where you can store it all. Also maybe some nuts and seeds would be good to take with you.

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