Thursday, 27 June 2013


This week Kat and I have been working in the Agroindustria department, where various spices, sauces, vinegars and even wines are produced. Three men, Luis, Amaury and Pablo, and three women, Luisa, Koral and Mariuska run this department have between the six of them have over 35 years of experience. Kat and I worked primarily with Lusia, Koral and Mariuska (pictured below) who made us feel so welcome it was as if we had worked there for months instead of just one short week. 

From left - right: Mariuska, Luisa and Koral filling bags of Humus de lombriz

The atmosphere in the department could not have been lighter hearted. While filling bags of Humus de lombriz, or while peeling garlic there was plenty of time to talk, joke and exchange swear words. Unfortunately since we only worked in the agroindustria department for a week we couldn't see all the different things they make. To do that I think you'd have to work there for a year. We did however fill and bags of Humus de lombiz (nutrient rich soil) that are sold at the front of the organopónico for one Cuban peso a piece, we saw how salsa criollo is made by blending basil, oregano, salt, vinegar, and onion, to create a salsa that is very popular on pastas, we sifted clumps out of the "sazonador" (combination of spices) before it was packaged, and on our final day we peeled more garlic than I can express. Even after showering, the garlic smell is still clinging to both Kat and I. Personally I love the smell of garlic so for the moment I don't mind too much. Below are photos of the department and the lovely people we worked with this week:
The main office on the left, Humus de lombriz on the right.

Mariuska sealing the bags of Humus de lombriz with the "macina sellador" (sealing machine that looks like a giant stapler)

Wall of all the different products they sell

LOTS of garlic, and bins filled with various spices

Luis showing us how the beds where the dry the plants before processing them further

Sazonador before and after going through the sieve 

Sazonador after packaging (Luisa, Mariuska and Koral package these with the macina sellador pictured above) They sell for one cuban peso per package.

Luis making the salsa criollo

Kat and I smashing garlic with wooden blocks (very stress relieving)

So much garlic.

Just so much.

Koral and Mariuska fanning away the garlic peels

Pastas de Ajo (garlic paste that is the end result of our garlic peeling). One and one quarter full bag of garlic will produce 11 bottles like this one which sell for 10 cuban pesos. 

1 comment: