Culture

21 Reasons To Appreciate Fluffy And Cool Alpacas On Their Special Day

Alpacas have to be the defining animal of the hipster movement (don’t worry if you can’t tell alpacas and llamas apart, you are not alone and no one will blame you!). You have seen them in accessories, t-shirts, purses, pot-related memes and even as pets

Well, because there is a day for everything, we are celebrating the one and only World Alpaca Day!

1. They are as Latin American as it gets.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.posts

Alpacas, known scientifically as vicugna pacos, as  are a synonym of Andean culture and are endemic to the mountain ranges of the South American countries of Peru, Bolivia and Chile, although they can also be seen in Ecuador. They have been bred and raised for their fibrous and furry coat for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the region. They still represent a good source of income.

2. Their furry cousins, llamas, are unas chingonas as well.

Credit: Giphy. @anonymous

OK, let’s get something straight. Llamas and Alpacas are not the same. Alpacas are way smaller, for starters, weighting only up to 200 pounds compared to the 500 or 600 that llamas can reach. Llamas are also used as transport and as carriers. 

3. Because alpacacorns.

Credit: Instagram. @strudel_alpaca

Move over bunnycorns and unicorns! The alpacacorn is the ultimate cuteness symbol. Also, if the unicorn has been a symbol of European royalty for decades, we can have our own Latino myth, right?

4. They are just the best meme-ready beasts in the animal kingdom.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.of.ig

Really, cats on the Internet are so 2005. Alpacas and their cousins llamas are the most expressive beasts on the planet, and millions of digital natives know it. 

5. When life looks down on you alpacas make you go chin up, chest out, be proud.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.of.ig

Alpacas are like natural serotonin: just looking at them makes us feel all soft inside. Alpacas hold their heads up high and are dignified, like we all want to be!

6. Their folk have travelled the five continents.

Credit: Instagram. @alfie_the_alpaca_in_adelaide

Just look at this mate, Alfie, just chilling in the Australian seaside. Alpacas have been bred in farms far away from their homeland. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, you can stay in farms full of these furry cute little things and have a refreshing holiday. 

7. They have inspired the coziest plush toys ever.

Credit: Instagram. @inkari.alpaca

Can we just drop dead there and sleep for like two days straight?

8. They are game for a road trip.

Credit: Instagram. @matcha.maiden

Alpacas are now being cared for as pets the world over. Just look at this handsome dude just taking it all in, the breeze, the landscape.

9. Because they are amazing muses.

Credit: Instagram. @mifsudvisions

You can’t go wrong painting an alpaca… if you have at least basic artistic skills, of course. 

10. Crochet anyone?

Credit: Instagram. @cutiemestore

We are sure that llamas and alpacas must be the best sold animals on Etsy! There are pins, jewelery, pots and basically all you can imagine. Can’t find it? Make it yourself!

11. They are beautiful beings… so we have to protect them in the wild.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.of.ig

The Andes have been savaged by decades of industrial distress and mining. Alpacas need to thrive in their own environment so let’s protect it, shall we?

12. Because baby + alpacas = oh my heart!

Credit: Instagram. @ahjoomahan

Ay, Dios mío! Show this to all your tías and they will go “ay mis vidos!”. 

13. Because we can’t thing of a cuter way to keep our hands warm.

Credit: Instagram. @ranbowmountaintravels

That’s one lucky woman!

14. No better way to get your handicraft juices flowing.

Credit: Instagram. @siwooinparis

One of the best ways to destress is to get busy with your hands (not like that, mal pensados!). Draw some inspo from this travel companion and make your own!

15. Because alpacas smooching are the definition of wild love.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.posts

Seriously, they have better love lives than many of us!

16. Because alpaca coffee mugs: seriously, even el pinche lunes would be better waking up to this face everyday.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.posts

Take all our money now!

17. Because nothing spells PRIDE like a rainbow alpacacorn.

Credit: Instagram. @kiwiiregalos

Can every Latino Pride Parade make this their official mascot, porfavorcito?

18. Seriously, can we imagine a better wedding photo companion?

Credit: Instagram. @alpakamomente

This photo was taken all the way in Germany, by the way, chavos. 

19. Because they just fit in with furry perritos falderos.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.of.ig

In a way, these Andean big-eyed cutties are just like big, fluffy companion canines. 

20. They are the best tour guides.

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.posts

Look at this cool Peruvian dude taking all those fresh dollars off gringo tourists. Good on him!

21. And did we mention they look awesome in sunglasses?

Credit: Instagram. @alpaca.posts

Yes, we did, but we just can’t get enough of them!

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Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

Culture

Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

I guarantee that since Beyonce’s hit anthem ‘Formation’ hit the airwaves, we’ve all been wanting to channel our inner Bey and carry some hot sauce in our bags. But which one would you choose?  

Whether you prefer sweet and sour, ranch, spicy, or mild, when it comes to options, the possibilities are endless!

A sauce’s beauty is that every country has its famous creation that usually accompanies their traditional dishes. Every Latin American country has its mouth-watering sauce that was created using recipes passed down from ancestors.

AJILIMOJILI

In Puerto Rico, this sauce is quite popular because of its ají dulce flavor – a mix of sweet and sour notes. The green salsa is the Caribbean’s version of hot sauce and is added to recipes, such as seafood and boiled vegetables.

VALENTINA

Few of us don’t know about the magic that is Valentina. Pour that sauce all over your papas, pizza, jicama, elotes, and so much more. And it’s great because it’s available in a variety of heat levels so everyone can enjoy. 

TIÁ LUPITA HABANERO SAUCE

This Habanero Hot Sauce is an original family recipe of the brand and combines just the right amount of heat with each fruit’s natural sweetness. It is handmade in small batches, using only habanero peppers, dates, mangos, and spices. All ingredients are sourced from local farms and are non-GMO and gluten-free certified.

The sauce can be used as a condiment with breakfast burritos, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork, steak, chicken, fish, quesadillas, and more.

CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is mostly tied to Argentina, even though other countries also serve the herb-based salsa. To achieve the perfect chimichurri, mix parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Pair with meat cuts like churrasco and watch the magic happen.

CHIRMOL

In Central America, chismol or chirmol is made of tomatoes, onion, peppers and other ingredients. It’s similar to pico de gallo and is used in a variety of dishes.

RICANTE

Sauce, dressing, dip, marinade… Ricante does it all and with no sugar or salt added and with just the right amount of approachable spice. Ricante is not only Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Friendly, but tiá approved!

Ricante launched with five incredibly unique hot sauces, marrying non-traditional essences like apples, mangos, carrots, and habaneros.

SALSA ROSA

Pastas are enjoyed all across Latin America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay, which pair the dishes with salsa rosa, a tomato-based sauce mixed with heavy cream. Together, they create a pink paste that blankets a variety of pasta dishes.

TACTICAL TACOS

Wait, so not all taco bases are citrus?! Tactical Tacos knows how to do taco sauce right with their notes of orange, lime, and cilantro to start your bite out just right, followed up with a perfect hint of Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper in the background. That’s just their mild sauce, Snafu. The Fire Fight and Ghost Protocol give you a similar ride with the citrus kick but with a much bigger spice hit for those that are brave enough to try it out!

MOLE

Mole is a spicy-and-sweet sauce made from chocolate that translates. The dark brown sauce gets its heat from chiles, but also has a touch of sweetness from the cacao, almonds, and peanuts often added. The sauce is topped with sesame seeds.

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All The Truly Surprising Starbucks Menu Items From Around Latin America

Culture

All The Truly Surprising Starbucks Menu Items From Around Latin America

There are some things you can count on at any American Starbucks location, like the uniform flavor of Pike Place Roast, a sub-par bagel, or the baristas’ inability to spell Jennypher correctly. Outside of the U.S., however, the chain must make some menu adjustments based on local tastes.

Although the term “unusual” is certainly relative, here’s a glimpse of Starbucks’ best international offerings.

Maracuya Frappuccino – Mexico

Transport yourself to the Riviera Maya with this one. The people of Mexico can taste the exotic fruity flavor of passionfruit (aka maracuya) in their frappuccinos and save themselves from an actual trip to the beach.

Ponche Navideño – Mexico

Starbucks México on Twitter: "Recárgate de buenos deseos con una bebida de  temporada (pst, nosotros te invitamos la segunda 😁). Del 20 al 24 de  noviembre de 3 a 5 p. m.… https://t.co/hB3ziwEuDp"

Although most of us think as ponche as being just a seasonal option, several Starbucks locations in Mexico carry the traditional tasty treat all year long.

Banana Split Frappuccino – Mexico

You can take this one with or without coffee. It has all the banana and chocolate flavor of the beloved dessert and is topped with crushed waffle cones.

Envuelto Poblano – Mexico

Starbucks México | Envuelto poblano, el sabor de México en Starbucks -  YouTube

Lucuma Crème Frappuccino – Peru

Too bad they don’t serve it in the United States but I can understand why. This frappuccino is made with Lucuma, which is a tropical fruit from Peru, so it would be problematic to export it to different parts of the world. On the other hand, it makes the drink exclusive and adds one more reason to go to Peruvian Starbucks.

The taste of the fruit can be compared to maple flavor or butterscotch and this frappuccino itself is creamy and sweet as a Peruvian treat should be.

Barrita Nuez – Chile

Meet the famous humble cookie with a Chilean spin. You can taste the Barrita Nuez in Chile and enjoy the stuffing which consists of dulce de leche, nougat and walnuts.

Brigadeiro Frappuccino – Brazil

This frappuccino was born to honor the love of dulce de leche flavored ice creams which all Brazilians share. Dulce de leche is a traditional Latin American dessert that is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk until it changes its color and gets a flavor similar to caramel.

Mini Donuts Nutella – Brazil

18 International Starbucks Items You'll Want To Travel For

Mini fried donuts filled with Nutella. Why are there no Nutella-filled treats at an American Starbucks?!

Pão de Queijo – Brazil

Brazil is often associated with skewers of meat, but there’s certainly a lot more cuisine variation. The fluffy balls of gluten-free cheese bread known as pão de queijo is a good example. The use of sour cassava starch dates back to the 1600s, before cheese was even in the picture, but today they’re available everywhere you turn in Brazil, from beachside stands to grandmothers’ kitchens to the Starbucks pastry case.

Dulce de Leche Frappuccino – Argentina

This creamy Frappuccino flavored with dulce de leche is pretty much what dreams are made of.

Cafe Tinto – Colombia

Starbucks coffee couldn’t be further than the working-class style of Colombian coffee called tinto, but as part of an effort to blend into its surroundings, the chain sells short cups of the stuff. It’s served black, and has a slightly thicker consistency than your average joe.

Churro Frappuccino – Latin America

Churro Frappuccino served at Starbucks all over Latin America includes cinnamon sprinkling, whipped cream, white mocha syrup, and a churro. 

What’s your favorite Starbucks items from across Latin America?

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