20 Things Mexican Families Do That You Didn’t Realize Were Odd Until You Moved Out
Every culture has its quirky traditions, but Mexican families are kind of extra when it comes to funny habits and superstitions.
Here are 20 perfect examples of things Mexican families do that other families uh…. don’t.
1. Heating up tortillas on the stove
No Mexican worth her salt heats up tortillas in the microwave.
But the first time you fired up the back burner to char a tortilla at someone else’s house, I bet they were surprised.
2. Bonus points if you flipped them with your fingers
Also, I don’t know what you used tongs for in your house, but in a Mexican kitchen, you better flip those babies with your fingers, and you better be fast.
3. Eating Menudo on Christmas morning
Ah yes, waking up on Christmas morning to a crackling fire, a fresh snowfall, and the smell of tripe and cow’s feet simmering on the stove. Mmmm.
4. Shoving people’s faces in their birthday cake
No one really seems to know how or why this tradition started, but there’s no escaping it in a Mexican family.
Someone’s going to trick you into “smelling” your cake, and you might as well just accept it.
5. Tamale assembly lines
Making tamales isn’t just a multi-step process, it’s a crucial Mexican family bonding experience. Pull up a chair and get to work spreading the masa.
6. Cooking everything in lard or bacon grease
Mexican Abuelitas don’t mess around with olive oil or cooking spray.
Everything tastes better fried in pure fat.
7. And still calling it “vegetarian”
In my nana’s kitchen, vegetarian = no visible meat.
Those beans cooked in bacon fat? Si, vegetarian.
8. Bringing your own Lechera out to eat
You can’t just assume that the restaurant is going to have it, and what are you going to do, eat your pancakes with syrup??
9. Wrapping hot dogs in tortillas
The best snack you’re going to find. Of course, it’s not just hot dogs, you can wrap anything in a nice corn tortilla and call it lunch.
10. Putting limón and chile on everything
And I mean everything.
I’ve seen Mexican ladies putting Tapatio on their ice cream.
11. Making the sign of the cross when someone sneezes.
It’s not enough to say “bless you”. Mexican families go the extra step to make sure God notices.
12. Shouting “dale dale dale” at children hitting a piñata
The piñata has become a staple of lots of children’s birthday parties, but you know you’re at a Mexican family party when everyone is chanting “dale!” at the top of their lungs.
13. Putting something gold in your champagne
I didn’t know this was a Mexican tradition until recently.
Apparently, a gold object in celebratory champs is supposed to bring good luck and fortune. Can’t hurt!
14. Drinking Abuelita and calling it “hot chocolate”
Remember the first time you had hot chocolate that wasn’t Abuelita and you couldn’t understand why it was so bland?
15. Making “instant guacamole” by mashing Tapatio into half an avocado
The laziest of guacamole recipes will always hold a special place in a Mexican girl’s heart.
16. Going swimming in your “chonies”
For some reason, it wasn’t just swimming in your underpants if you called them “chonies”.
17. Calling any shoe that’s not a boot or a sneaker “chanclas”
A chancla is supposed to be a very specific type of woven sandal, but in my house, everything from a flip-flop to an open-toe heel was a chancla.
18. Bonus point if you ever got hit with a chancla for being bad
Or, just threatened with one. Callate!
19. Putting Vicks VapoRub on everything
The first line of defense against everything from a stuffy nose to a stomach ache.
If Vicks can’t fix it, you’re in big trouble.
20. Boiling cinnamon to cancel out any bad smell
Who needs Febreze? That sweet cinnamon smell will bring you right back home 🙂