I just received a roundup of a great event that took place in Las Terrazas, Cuba on December 10th of last year. I am referring to the day of "Terra Madre", an annual worldwide celebration and awareness day that focuses on ecological ways to produce and prepare foods that are healthy, tasty and sustainable. more...
I just received a roundup of a great event that took place in Las Terrazas, Cuba on December 10th of last year. I am referring to the day of "Terra Madre", an annual worldwide celebration and awareness day that focuses on ecological ways to produce and prepare foods that are healthy, tasty and sustainable.
Cuba has been on the forefront of reintroducing this back to the basic approach. Every Cuban city has various “urban organic gardens” or Organopónicos where produce is being grown and sold at the same location, thereby also eliminating the need for transport. In addition Cubans are being encouraged to utilize their vacant plot of land to grow foods and every ‘barrio’ has its special low-cost store where you can buy anything from seeds, fertilizer and other stuff you might need to grow tomatoes, lettuce, onions or whatever might be in season.
The most striking example of Cuba’s environmental efforts is without a doubt Las Terrazas, a Cuban community founded in 1968 on a 5000 acre piece of degraded land in the Pinar del Rio province. These days Las Terrazas is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the eastern part of Cuba. It is here where you also find El Romero the finest organic/vegetarian restaurant in the country.
El Romero served as the center of most “Terra Madre” activities. Local Farmers met with chefs to discuss the benefits and challenges that come with small-scale ecological farming. School children planted fruit trees in the community and a Chaya (or tree spinach) tree in the schoolyard while being instructed about the tree’s history and health properties. Locals and tourists joined each other for lunch supervised by Tito, the Internationally renowned chef of El Romero, before moving on to yet another highlight of day, the Green Cuisine Competition, which brought out the culinary artist in many proud participants.
The Concept of “Terra Madre” can be enjoyed throughout the year at restaurant El Romero, which uses almost exclusively foods that are produced locally, right in the Las Terrazas community. On various occasions I have tried a sampling of rare dishes containing water plants from the lake, fruit juice with a hint of cactus that added a sensationally rich taste, various vegetarian dishes and fruits that are grown in the mountains. All equally delicious and deliciously healthy!