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gatheringroses

Resort In Cuba, Help!

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Hi everyone,

I am going to a resort in Cuba... and I am terrified that I won't be able to eat anything, that I'll starve, that Ill get sick, and that I'll be miserable.

Anybody have any advice, or experiences with cuba? (Or, resorts in general)?

Thanks,

Samantha

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Hey Sam,

I am a half Cuban girl who has spent at least 3 months of every year there until well into my teenage years. I recently went back last year for the first time in since I was 15 (I am currently 22).

While I can't speak for resorts (most cubans can't afford to use them), I can tell you about some things you will experience there. First of all, get yourself a restaurant information card in spanish that explains celiac, laminate it, and carry it everywhere with you, they can be found by googling. Give it to them anytime you go to eat food.

Ironically, resorts may be more difficult than paladares (private restaurants). In resorts, they will often carry western style food for their guests (so I've heard). Apparently not all do this but it is common.

Most private restaurants do cuban food sometimes mixed with international styles. This is a good thing as the large majority of cuban food tends to be naturally gluten free. Things like congri, ropa vieja, etc are all in this category. Things like bread, flan, some empanadas (there are wheat corn and yuca based types) etc, will not be agreeable with you.

If you choose to eat in peso restaurants, or street stalls you may have to be more careful. Often these are not held up to the same standards as in the western world although I have never had a problem.

If they have to substitute something for you in a meal (as in only a part of a meal, not a whole meal) ask for plantains, yuca, malanga (con mojo), polenta, or beans and rice.

Whatever you do, make sure you get out of the resort to try food, as the paladares are often much better than the state run restaurants in terms of quality and taste.

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Hey Sam,

I am a half Cuban girl who has spent at least 3 months of every year there until well into my teenage years. I recently went back last year for the first time in since I was 15 (I am currently 22).

While I can't speak for resorts (most cubans can't afford to use them), I can tell you about some things you will experience there. First of all, get yourself a restaurant information card in spanish that explains celiac, laminate it, and carry it everywhere with you, they can be found by googling. Give it to them anytime you go to eat food.

Ironically, resorts may be more difficult than paladares (private restaurants). In resorts, they will often carry western style food for their guests (so I've heard). Apparently not all do this but it is common.

Most private restaurants do cuban food sometimes mixed with international styles. This is a good thing as the large majority of cuban food tends to be naturally gluten free. Things like congri, ropa vieja, etc are all in this category. Things like bread, flan, some empanadas (there are wheat corn and yuca based types) etc, will not be agreeable with you.

If you choose to eat in peso restaurants, or street stalls you may have to be more careful. Often these are not held up to the same standards as in the western world although I have never had a problem.

If they have to substitute something for you in a meal (as in only a part of a meal, not a whole meal) ask for plantains, yuca, malanga (con mojo), polenta, or beans and rice.

Whatever you do, make sure you get out of the resort to try food, as the paladares are often much better than the state run restaurants in terms of quality and taste.

Oh wow! Thanks! I didn't see this before I left (I left at 4 am on the 31st!), but I will keep that in mind in future travels to Cuba. I loved it so much that I am going to go back.

Just for future travellers... I had an AMAZING experience at my resort! I was staying at Club Bucanaro (spelling?) by Santiago. The rep from my travel company (Hola Sun) made sure that the kitchen was serving me only gluten-free food. I had a special meal prepared for me every day (vegetarian AND gluten free!!), and while it got repetitive, it was food. And, I did not get glutened ONCE!!!

I spent two nights in Santiago, and I ate at local restaurants. I didn't have the card stating what I could/couldn't eat (which is 100% nessicary if you do not speak Spanish, and try to eat out), but luckily I was traveling with Spanish-speaking people: they made sure I got what I needed.

One place tried to serve me breaded bananas and meat, but that was due to my inability to speak Spanish/lack of card/lack of Spanish-speaking person. It was my fault, not theirs.

All in all, Cuba is a great place to go if you're gluten-free based on my experiences.

Thanks again for your advice... will for sure keep it in mind!

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