Articles / About Camagüey / Tourism / The pizza, another dish that got Cubanized
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The pizza, another dish that got Cubanized
By Gualveris Rosales Sánchez
To taste the most delicious pastas that are cooked today in the city of Camagüey, you should visit a small and discreet Italian food restaurant dubbed Dinos Pizza, establishment located in one of the most popular areas of the city, the Casino Campestre.
Pizzas, lasagnas, cannelloni, macaroni, spaghetti and creams of all kind made up the menu of this splendid place which has begun to attract an important clientele.
Those who visit the restaurant are pleased of eating a food that is elaborated in front of the client, just as it was made in the past and nowadays in the port city of Naples.
Marked by a welcoming, clean and acclimatized atmosphere, just when the visitors enter the restaurant, they start to feel the aromas of the natural spices combined with the tomato sauce and smell the dough, that in the hands of an expert, takes a circulate shape.
The personnel highly qualified in FORMATUR, tourist industry training centre in the territory, apart from knowing the culinary art and also speaks foreign languages; which makes of Dino Pizzas, an attractive option for the foreign tourists.
A Little Bit of History
The pastas and particularly the pizza, in the way we know it today, is a food universally extended. It is said that after having been a meal of villagers in the Italian Campania, the Neapolitan Raffaele Esposito immortalized it when created the pizza Margarita. The loaf crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the 20th century with the migratory wave that, coming from Italy, flooded the American lands.
However, it wasn’t popular in Camagüey, Cuba, until after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.
According to trustful sources, the first pizzeria in the City of the Tinajones was founded at the end of 1966, and it was opened due to the interest of the Revolutionary government for developing a diverse gastronomic culture in the Island.
The place chosen to create the first pizzeria is the former store El Gallo, and the rooms in the second floor that belonged to the radio station CMJA in that moment. Without a doubt, it is a place strategically located to set up a business for it is in the crossroad of Republica, Maceo and Ignacio Agramonte streets.
Under the title “Camaguey already has its pizzeria”, the local newspaper Adelante published an article on November 18th, 1966 written by the late Ariel Noa, in which the author describes the characteristics of the location and its success as a new option for the people in the city.
La Piazza, was the name chosen for the restaurant that still exists and at the beginning was a unit of the former company INIT.
In the first floor of the establishment a bar works 24 hours a day, there the strollers can buy spaghetti, pizzas and other pastas, whereas the second floor is a restaurant specialized in Italian food.
Cheese is a base ingredient for any type of these pastas and Camagüey is a privileged territory in this aspect thanks to its cattle. In such a way, local productions were used as Guarina and Vaquita, factories that produced brands of cheeses with excellent features for cooking pastas, for instance Patagrás and Cubanito.
Today, although others are the suppliers of that dairy product, local producers from Sibanicú and Martí town, in the municipality of Guáimaro, are those who provide that essential component.
Later, inspired by the success of La Piazza, new pizzerias were set up, for instance Los Venaditos in Garrido neighborhood. In the highway leading to Havana, the pizzeria Bentornato was founded, another establishment that people also called Terralba. Hatibonico, a cafeteria that sold light refreshments, ice creams and non alcoholic drinks also assumed the task of selling the Italian dish.
This is the brief, but flavourful history of the pizza in our town, history of a product worldwide acclaimed that already belongs to the folklore of the Cuban nation; that has got Cubanized like so many other dishes of the international cookery.
The pizza is rich dish that we all love, but consume with certain carefulness since it adds many pounds to the weighing machine.
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