Plantain Tart and Cuban Paintings
My trip to Cuba was topped up with one thing. Art. That was my dessert and one that I can physically see every day and will probably pass it on to posterity. I spent hours searching for where Cuba’s art galleries were. None was as impressive as what I found In Havana’s main flea market. The market had art, paintings and sculptures that were raw and unpretentious. I got the impression the artists had been forgotten by the world. Like Cuba itself, they seemed to be a little bit more introspective and more conscious of their Afro-Spanish culture. I also suddenly became aware of the tenterhooks of “government” in their trade when after paying for paintings I bought, I was asked to pay a government official a sum of money for a permit to be able to get the paintings out of Cuba. The official had his own government store in the market. My permit and the paintings were scrutinised by hawk eyed officials for minutes at Havana airport. Only when they were satisfied I had met their regulations was I allowed to check the paintings in. Phew…
Sugar, rum and plantain is as Cuban as it gets. Like Cuban paintings they hint at the genesis of Cuba’s story, from slavery on Sugar Cane plantations to the passion for plantain by it’s Afro-Spanish population and the introduction of rum by the Spanish. Combine all the ingredients of Cuba’s, painful and exhilarating history and you end up with something like the Cuban Plantain Tart with rum (Tart Tentación) . Sweet, creative, fused, warm, uncomplicated and rummy.
The recipe below is somewhat complex and truth be told making this was not as enjoyable as I imagined, but the outcome made it worthwhile. If I made this again, the whole process of caking the plantain in flour will be discarded. Plantain dishes should be simple. Having stated this though, the baked dough mixture made for a fantastic side dish. If only commercial bread (baked dough) tasted this good.