The NATIVA experience: living Cuba through its flavors
Warm and seductive as the land it represents, Cuban cuisine brings together flavors of native peoples, Spain, Africa, other Caribbean islands, and even China itself in a single melting pot. Declared “Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Nation” in 2019, it makes honor to such a distinction with the variety and authenticity of its ingredients and preparations. Although there are common and very famous elements throughout the island (the taste for desserts, the very dark coffee, the traditional New Year’s Eve barbecue, the rum-based cocktails), each region also has its own recipes to take to the table, either in the daily menu or on days of celebrations.
Thus, some of the most famous dishes already have as their names that of the town that created them. There are plenty of examples: Puerto Príncipe soup, Rumayor smoked chicken, Guanabacoa stuffed potatoes, Las Tunas soup, Batabanó pineapple. Interesting, right? They all are a feast for those who taste them, and even more: the certainty of discovering, with each bite, a piece of true Cuban soul.
In this promising environment for lovers of good food, the Gaviota Hotels brings in an experience that values the characteristics of local cuisine in each tourist destination. Baptized as NATIVA, the formula is present in the culinary spaces of the hotels and very specifically in the buffet service. At the facilities managed by Meliá, we are committed to this new way of presenting the Cuban to our guests, to enrich their stay with us. We are already confident of success!
Three emblems of the national gastronomy: the tamales, the Baracoa cone and the cocktails, were chosen to visually identify those dishes created under the NATIVA concept. With a predominance of organic and locally produced ingredients, each recipe is the result of the expertise of our chefs and kitchen specialists. This is not the only factor that guarantees success: a deep study of the traditions, together with the effective adaptation of the techniques and presentation as suggested by the new trends, has allowed NATIVA to be more than an opportunity to taste this or that exotic dish – a true adventure, a journey to the roots of Cuban identity.
Thus, surprising preparations can be discovered by those who visit us: bonefish; the bacanes; the sleeping beans; the sweet potato; the torticas of Morón; the picadillo a la habanera; lobster enchilada and drinks like Saoco, Isla Tropical and Sambumbia. They are all part of an extensive list whose secrets we will reveal in the coming days. We will remember stories, we will explain recipes, we will interview protagonists … just keep the connection with Meliá Cuba and Gaviota Hotels to be up to date. And of course: once you get in touch with NATIVA, we look forward to hearing your opinions and experiences. Remember that it was created for you! So that you know Cuba, so that you taste it. Yes … Cuba can be savored, and if it is with NATIVA, that flavor will be unique and unrepeatable.