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James Suckling

Another Day in Cuba

Posted: Oct 14, 2008 9:38am ET
I am heading out to Pinar del Río today. I am not sure what I will see, but it should be interesting to say the least. Everyone I speak to says that the area east of Pinar, or the Semi-Vuelta, was absolutely hammered by the two hurricanes in September. This is why there is a shortage of agricultural products in Havana. I was told the other night that "tomatoes do not exist anymore in Havana" when I ordered a tomato salad at the restaurant La Fontana. Everyone in Havana is complaining about prices as well, from the high price of gasoline to the cost of chicken or some other food.

Cigars still remain a relatively good deal. I visited a number of shops yesterday and they were pretty well stocked. Everyone was very excited about the Ediciones Limitadas 2008. I am still the biggest fan of the Cuaba Pirámides. I prefer them to the Montecristo No. 2. They have more depth of flavor and richness.The Cuabas cost $105 for a box of 10. A box of 25 Partagas Serie D No. 5 cost $166.25, and a box of 10 Montecristo Sublimes cost $113.50.

I didn't buy any of those, but I did manage to score a cabinet of 50 Ramon Allones Specially Selected. I have been enjoying those all year. I love the spicy, earthy, almost chocolaty quality of the robusto. What a smoke. It has so much character yet is balanced and flavorful. Lovely stuff.

Anyway, I have to go now. I will report back later.


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