For our current recipe of the week, we chose to pick something specifically unique to Cuba. Now before I go on to the recipe and everything, I would like to tell you about how this particular batch was made taken from the photo above.
Having just returned from the Undiscovered Cuba trip, I had the great opportunity to visit a small town on the eastern most coast of Cuba called Baracoa. While there, we visited a coconut farm on the beach to which we were entertained by the 91 year old man that owned the establishment. Apparently it had been handed down to him via the government somewhere around 50 years ago. The soil was said to be of excellent quality to grow coconuts hence the beginning of this farm.
When we first arrived, and after being greated by the old farmer, the first thing he wanted to show us was how strong he still was given his age. He proceeded to give us all very strong handshakes in order to show us his still very machismo vitality. Not long after which, he took to climbing the closest coconut tree and scaled it better than most men a quarter his age.
Once at the top, he threw a number of coconuts to the ground, slid down the tree like you'd see a fireman on his ladder do, and promptly make work of these fresh coconuts with his machete... the result of which was us testing out some fresh coconut water.
This was quickly followed up by a brief tour of the small production hut to which their cucurucho is made. You can see it in the background of this photo above.
As you'll see below, they were in the process of creating a new batch.
This was easily one of the most memorable experiences that I've had in some time, and because of this, I felt that sharing this excellent recipe was only proper.
While this recipe is ridiculously simple, it was one of the best food experiences I had while in Cuba. So here it goes...
Baracoa Cucurucho Recipe:
This can be made either fresh (grated from dried coconut) or with a bagged unsweetened variant.
1. 4 cups unsweetened Coconut flakes
2. 1.5 cups coconut water
3. 3 tbsp Honey
4. 1/2 cup almonds
If applicable (palm leaves)
Bring the coconut water to a slow boil stirring throughout.
Add coconut and reduce to medium heat and stir until the consistency becomes somewhat doughy.
In a separate pan, roast the half cup of almonds on medium heat for 10 to 15 mins. Please make sure not to burn.
Once the coconut and coconut water mixture has cooked down, add the almonds, honey, and then stir.
Now if you're lucky enough to find some palm leaves, you can wrap them up into a cone shape and secure them together with a metal tie.
That's it! This recipe should serve 4 people in equal servings. You've now made one of Cuba's hidden recipes. Enjoy!
Photos and writing by Jason Curry