Las Tunas is a singular and welcoming city with a very hospitable people. It is also the main city of the province with the same name which is also known as “The capital of the Cuban sculpture” or “The Eastern Balcony”.
Las Tunas is a city of legends, a metropolis created upon the basis of its myths and where every single unfortunate event in the city is preceded by the apparition of a headless horseman riding a white horse. In the creepiest nights more than one person assured to have seen the ghost of el Ahogapollos, described as a tiny red light which flashes by the side of the river.
Las Tunas is also a city of traditions. It is the cradle of “La décima”, “Cucalambe homage week” and the “Caldosa” being this national-spreadded dish one of the most distinctive around the world.
The Caldosa itself is a very typical cuban dish made combining the flavor of different meets and a big diversity of spices and root vegetables. In our region it has different names such as “ajiaco” or “sancocho” but in Las Tunas we serve the Caldosa.
“Once upon a time in Las Tunas a very old man arrived to Don Kike´s party
He wanted to dance, we wanted to enjoy the moment but he could not walk anymore”
Its origins are located in the Lora neighborhood, the night before the “National Rebellion day ” (July 26). It was on July 25, 1979 when Jose Enrique Pérez Rodriguez (Kike) and Luz Marina Zaldívar Calzadilla (Marina) cooked that dish that delighted even the most discerning palate. The Biology teacher and amateur musician Rogelio Díaz Castillo, inspired in such amazing food, wrote a guaracha which a year later was immortalized by the cuban singer Inocente Iznaga, better known as the Cienfuegos’s Goldfinch.
“Then Don Kike prescribed him, a cup of Caldosa,
the old man drank all of it suddenly he started to dance”
The Recipe for the mejunje is part of the city’s heritage and its special ingredient is the creole hen, this happened because Kike and Marina change the use of pork and beef meet by the creole hen and the result was spectacular.
“Listen Don Kike, Listen Marina with this Caldosa we can really walk,
We can really walk because it has a hen!”
The “caldosa” became well known in the country because of this song which was a radio hit at the beginning of the 1980´s. To share this recipe with everybody a restaurant specialized in this dish was built in San Antonio de El Cornito (at the entrance of the city).
“We can really walk, we can really walk with this Caldosa of Kike and Marina”
So, if you like to try it, you can travel to Las Tunas, located at 690 kilometers to the east of Havana, so you could check on the way you walk after trying a cup of Caldosa.