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When Jan Bower wrote in her trip evaluation that the "Runaway Slave Lunch" was a highlight of her Wildland Adventure to Cuba, we had to find out more. What Runaway Slave Lunch, we asked? Cuba is all about surprises, about the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Cubans, and their longing to reach out and connect with travelers passing through their neighborhood. Turns out, Jan's lunch was exactly that, organized directly by our Cuban guide, Maria Rosa, and served up by a wonderful Cuban woman living on the side of the road.
Under a ceiba tree by the side of the road about one hour from the Havana airport, Omaida Scott greets Wildland travelers from time to time
According to Jan, a 4-time Wildland traveler, there's no menu here because like runaway slaves, Mayi serves whatever is available in season. And that's the idea. You go. you eat. And you discover something about black history in Cuba in her free-spirited garden patio: a sense of life as a runaway slave foraging and growing what you could to get by.
Jan recounts their experience.
"It's small, we were the only ones there and there is no menu. We ate the meal out of dried gourds (there was cutlery). The best was the soup, a nice potato, ham, pepper, onion mixture. She served greens, polenta, some kind of fish, mashed plantains, a white root vegetable, green beans with okra and a beautiful plate of sliced tomatoes. For dessert she served a cake made of corn, sweet potato, and coconut, then I guess it was wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over coals. She also served a type of stewed oranges, sort of sweet. I put mine
Maria Rosa helped Mayi birth her business by bringing our travelers there. "Mayi researched the foods that