Time to cook in San Blas! Today we are going to try a delicious Kuna meal: cambombia (conch) stew with yucca and onion on coconut rice. Another good reason for sailing San Blas!
First thing we need to do is to build a fire with the materials found in the San Blas Islands, such as coconut fibre and wood. The Kuna kitchen-huts are built after hundreds of years of common sense to perfectly make a safe fire, by placing three logs in a star shape. After burning the coconut fibres right in the middle for a while, the fire is ready to place the pot with water, yucca and onion. Then, we need to extract the conch from the shell (not an easy task for the non-Kuna mortals) by making a hole to break the vacuum created by the snail. Once properly cleaned and chopped, it is added to the boiling pot and cooked at least for one hour.
Sailing San Blas on a sailboat also offers the luxury of getting to know the Kuna and sharing with them some of their traditions and routine life, while exploring their islands, their beautiful huts and their home-made accessories and furniture. The kitchen may seem at first sight chaotic, but if you look closely enough, nothing is left to chance: every single tool has its place, according to an order and purpose: a thin vertical trunk with a few short branches becomes a cup hanger; sticks fastened amongst each other turn into plate and pot shelves; a wood pile is carefully stacked in a corner, ready to use.
We had a nice chat and laughs with our Kuna hosts, while cooking was going on in this cozy and unforgettable environment and, finally, the most tasty cambombia with coconut rice. And tomorrow, we will continue sailing San Blas towards new and exciting experiences.