Along the streets of Havana, among the pedicabs,
and horse-drawn carriages
is a parade of classic American cars.
In fact, nearly 60,000 American cars from the 1950s are still on the roads in Cuba.
Until October 2011, Cuban government permission was required to buy and sell cars, and laws restricted the purchase and sale of cars to those that were in use before the 1959 Revolution. Remarkably, more than 50 years later, many of the cars are still in fantastic condition.
Because of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, these cars have been kept on the road with Cuban ingenuity, using household products and Soviet technology to create the parts needed for repairs.
Many of these cars are used as taxis
and the colors are often as vibrant as the buildings that serve as the backdrop to these magnificent vehicles.
While these cars are very much part of everyday life in Cuba,
they are a true gem for tourists to see, ride in, and be transported back in time!
When these cars were on the road in the United States, the Pineapple Upside Down Cake was on the dessert table of many American households. Like the classic cars of Havana, it’s bright in color with a sweet and rich interior.
This recipe comes straight from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, published in 1950.
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- Pineapple slices (drained from 14-0z can; juice reserved)
- Maraschino cherries
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In 9-inch square pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored (5 minutes). Gradually beat in sugar. Mix in pineapple juice and vanilla.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; beat into batter all at once.
- Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.
- Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately turn upside-down on serving plate. Do not remove pan for a few minutes. Brown sugar mixture will run down over cake. Serve warm with plain or whipped cream.
DISTANCE TRAVELED FROM PHILADELPHIA TO HAVANA: 1241 miles