In honor of National Ice Cream Day (which is always the third Sunday in July), we figured it was time for us to craft a foreign ice cream post. Cuba is known for a lot of things… classic cars, cigars, great live music, incredible artwork, insane tropical cocktails, rum and of course Cuban food.
There is a niche of Cuban cuisine that’s often overlooked and that’s the delicious (and ridiculously cheap) ice cream you can find in just about any city in the country, from cosmopolitan Camagüey to crafty Trinidad.
We’ve mentioned before, in previous posts, that the dual currency situation in Cuba is something every visitor ought to familiarize themselves with. Buying ice cream is no exception. Around the country you’ll spy loads of nooks and crannies with signs stating “heladería.” Heladeria in Spanish means “ice cream parlor” or “ice cream stand.” We’re not going to lie, heladería may have been one of the first Spanish phrases we memorized during our Cuba trip.
You’ll often see paper signs in the window advertising the price per sweet treat. Prices typically range from $2.00 to $4.00 per icy delight.
Here’s our rough translation of the sign above:
- Barquillo de Helado (Ice cream Cone)
- Barquillo con Cobertura y Maní (Ice Cream Cone Dipped in Crushed Peanuts)
- Cono con Cobertura (Ice Cream Cone Dipped in a Chocolate Shell)
- Cono con Cobertura y Maní (Ice Cream Cone Dipped in a Chocolate Shell with Crushed Peanuts)
The prices for each option seem fairly reasonable by American standards, right? Well, keep in mind that those prices listed on the sign in the photo above are in Cuban pesos or CUP. CUP are the “local” currency and CUP are worth about 1/24th of a single CUC (Cuban convertible pesos) note. For the record, a CUC is roughly equivalent to one American dollar. So, those $2.00 to $4.00 CUP scoops of yum will actually only cost you about 8¢ to 16¢ CUC or the amount of pennies you’ll find hiding under your couch cushion back home.
Address: Calle Martí (Between Rafael Morales and Comandante González Coro)
Pinar del Río, Cuba
Pricing (All in Cuban Convertible Pesos or CUC): Ice Cream 8¢ to 16¢