Havana restaurants thrive on available local food

HAVANA — You run a restaurant famous for its pork chop. But there’s none in the fridge. You check the pantry only to find that salt is also running low. You call your local store and they inform you that the entire city is out of these items. The replenishments will arrive two days later.

This scenario is reality for restaurateurs in Havana. To invigorate the struggling economy, the government loosened the regulations on private restaurants in 2010, but food shortages and rationing persist in the country. “It is still hard to find ingredients we need,” says Enrique Núñez, owner of La Guarida, one of the longest established and most reputable private restaurants here. “This has nothing to do with the restrictions. You simply cannot find them in Cuba.”

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