In July I was walking down the miserably hot streets of Santiago de Cuba on my way to the mercado. As I rounded the corner the women’s voices began to ring out, huevos (eggs), donde? (where?) la esquina, (the corner). You heard this repeated from house to house, street to street.
Eggs were in. While eggs are guaranteed to every Cuban on their ration card, there are never any eggs in the market. Tuesday there were eggs, and they arrived, from wherever the government keeps them, to every store in all of Santiago, all at one time.
So goes the life of obtaining food in Cuba. My family has the privilege of having access to the hard currency in Cuba the CUC, so eggs should be accessible all of the time, but they are not. If you do not have access to CUCs, you are truly on the bottom of the food chain.
We bought 4 dozen for the house; you never know when the next shipment will arrive. With four dozen sitting on the counter unrefrigerated we needed to get to cooking. On the dinner menu, Huevos Diablos. This is a wholly American dish, it is not known to Cubans, but there was a recipie in the house. The only thing that changed was…the ingredients.
Cuban mayonnaise is not of the highest quality. Cuban mayonnaise is made with the lowest quality oil and a lot of chemicals. It sits on the counter, in the Cuban heat, for months at a time. I find it interesting that the name of the company that makes the mayonnaise is Los Atrevenos, which if one takes it literally means, those of us that dare.
The next ingredient is easier to obtain, lots of chopped onion, garlic and cilantro, but alas, what makes Deviled Eggs is the spicy paprika on the top, for this we used a product from Goya (a Mexican firm) that was more salt than anything. They were good, not great, but good, such is home cooking in Cuba.
Thursday was toilet paper day, Gracias Dios, as there was no more in the house. I always tell tourists, take your own, you just never know.