Cuba: Cuban cooks overcome shortages with ingenuity on Facebook

If you don’t have potato, use malanga root. If you can’t find zucchini, replace it with cucumber.

Can’t find the ingredients you want? No problem: Yuliet Colón will help you whip up a dessert using the eggs you ran across, swap pork for the ground chicken in that recipe, even peanuts for beans in your Cuba -style rice.

She’s among a number of Cubans who, with more ingenuity than resources, help their compatriots cope with shortages exacerbated by the new coronavirus pandemic with Facebook posts of culinary creations designed around what they’re actually likely to find at the market or with government rations.

“I love Master Chef Spain but where do I get liquid nitrogen in this country?” joked Colón, a 39-year-old mother of two and one of the creators of the Facebook page, ”Recipes from the Heart.”

The site, launched in June, how has more than 12,000 members — many of them on an island just becoming accustomed to social media due to recently improved internet access.

The combination of COVID-19, which shut off income from tourism on the island, local economic productivity woes and sharpened U.S. sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump has led to increased scarcities in Cuba, where gross domestic product decreased by 11% in 2020.


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