A Taste of Communist Chocolate
Sometimes all you need is just a little bit of ice cream...even in Cuba.
Illustration by Robyn Jordan
By late morning in Santiago de Cuba the sun is already oppressive, pouring down on every inch of these sultry streets. A port town built along the backside of a narrow bay, Santiago’s setting was perhaps strategic for Spanish conquistadors, but it also serves to sequester it from the kind of cooling sea breezes that flutter off the malecon in Havana. The midday heat here is impossible to avoid and makes any kind of movement all but unbearable.
That of course, makes the prospect of an ice cream stop in Santiago irresistible — even given the laughably long lines that snake out from the open-air La Arboleda ice cream parlor, circling down the block, and as far as is evident, barely moving at all. Our first few times passing by, my cousin Cara and I deemed the line not possibly worth the wait, but after two days in this blistering city, we decided that whether the wait is measured in hours, minutes or days, there’s no chance we aren’t stopping in for ice cream t…
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