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?

Jason Motlagh (@JasonMotlagh) writes for The Guardian:


“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.


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