Travel | June 22, 2016 9:00 am

Beyond Cigars: Four Cuban Imports to Get Excited For

Thanks Obama!

Among the perks of warmer relations between the U.S. and our newly reacquainted neighbor Cuba? (Aside from those hand-rolled stogies?)

You can finally percolate Cuban coffee beans, which are quite delectable.

Nespresso just announced they’ll be distributing a brew known as Cafecito de Cuba in the U.S. shortly. But coffee and cigars aren’t the only new imports to look forward to. Here are four others that no longer need to ride banana boats to forbidden shores.

Sugar cane
Cuba grows a lot of sugar cane, and fields of the stuff surround Havana. One of your correspondent’s favorite experiences when he visited was making a pit stop for coffee with his taxi driver, who insisted we drink our brew the Cuban way: black with a stick of sugar cane on the side. You drink your joe and then chew on the coffee-soaked cane. And while we can’t prove that Cuban sugar has some chemical superiority that makes it taste better than other sugars, our taste buds certainly suggested as much.

It’s no secret that interesting art is often the byproduct of oppressive political regimes. But it’s also a fact that often prevents that art from attaining notability. But with the embargo lifted, you’ll now have unfettered access to folk art from our southern neighbors. To study up on the artists you need to know, visit Cuban Art News.

Baseball Players
You may know baseball may be America’s pastime, but it’s even bigger in Cuba (even Obama went to a game). Until now, Cuban players either had to flee their homeland to make it here (read: the Yasiel Puig story) or while away their entire career in isolated anonymity. But friendlier Cuban-American relations should facilitate a greater influx of talent going forward.

Pro tip: If you go to Cuba, bring baseballs for the kids. They treat them like gold.