Cuban Food Stories

Asori Soto returns to his homeland "to discover what Cubans of all classes do to overcome hardship and keep their culinary heritage alive."

Cuban Food Stories

"The food we cook not only makes us human, but is a primal element in understanding who we are as a culture." So narrates director Asori Soto, whose family left Cuba for New York when he was only five years old. Now he returns to his homeland, hoping to connect to his roots and embarking on a quest "to discover what Cubans of all classes do to overcome hardship and keep their culinary heritage alive." Not simply a culinary road trip, Cuban Food Stories captures the political upheaval of a complicated country and how revolution affects food, from fluctuating resources to industrial influence to the rise of international tourism. But oh, what a culinary road trip it is: a fisherman who "learned to swim before I could talk" speaks fondly of his daily routine of capturing swordfish and preparing ceviche for his crew; a middle-aged couple, deeply in love, will serve an incredible lunch to anybody who stops by their humble farm in the Escambray Mountains; a man famous for his smoked meats sells his wares at the Las Parrandas de Remedios, one of the island's most popular festivals. As the Latino proverb goes, "Love enters through the kitchen," and this film is Soto's plea to preserve the flavors, literally and figuratively, that makes Cuba worth fighting for.