An ice cream lover who longed to outdo his North American rivals, Fidel Castro created Coppelia – a state-run ice cream parlor. It provided ice cream, but also came to “embody Cuba’s revolutionary ideals.”
How will it fare as relations with the United States normalize?
“El Comandante rejected his northern neighbours. But for a lifelong dairy lover who had grown up on a farm in the Oriente province, ice-cream proved harder to resist. In the 1960s, he ordered his ambassador to Canada to ship him 28 containers of ice-cream from Howard Johnson’s, a chain of hotels and restaurants that was then the largest in America. After tasting every flavour the company made, Castro decided that Cuba needed to respond on a revolutionary scale by creating something bigger and better than anything his Yankee rivals could muster, yet priced low enough for everyone to enjoy. ¡Helado por el pueblo! Ice-cream, socialised.”
A wonderful long read.