5 Secret Family Recipes We Wish We Knew

Secret family recipes. We all got ‘em. It could be your abuelita’s pozole that goes back generations or your tio’s tamales that he made on accident but actually turned out pretty good. Whatever it is, each family has a dish they’re known for and that everyone looks forward to munching on.  Oh, and don’t even try to make it yourself because they will never EVER reveal the secret recipe. So, instead of sitting around trying to crack our family’s secret recipes, let’s talk to some of our friends about their family’s secret recipes and see what makes them so delicioso. 

Pernil

Pernil is a slow-roasted pork dish typically associated with the Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and is usually eaten around the holidays. Sasha Merci says, “Every time I ask my great aunt, ‘what is the recipe?’ they’ll tell me all the spices that I have to use, but they won’t tell me how much I have to use!” Been there, Sasha. Been there. 

Arroz Con Leche

Alejo Perez tells us “My grandma’s arroz con leche is undefeated.” Bold words, but c’mon, how many of us have said the same thing about our abuela’s arroz con leche? Each spoonful of that sweet, creamy, tasty rice pudding is like filling your heart with all of grandma’s love. “I don’t know what grandma does that adds that oomph,” says Alejo. Honestly, the secret ingredient is probably grandma’s love. 

Pumpkin Empanadas

The beauty of the empanada is its versatility. Sure, you can put chicken or beef in there, but why stop at meat? That’s where these dessert empanadas come in. “I’d never had a sweet empanada before, I’d always had, like, savory ones and I was like ‘Whoa, she just did something with this!’” says Carla Olivas of her mom’s famous pumpkin empanadas. Even though she doesn’t quite have the recipe just yet, Carla believes her mom will one day pass it on to her! “I feel like a lot of Latino families can relate,” she says. “Our heirlooms are recipes.”

Feijoada

The national dish of Brazil, feijoada is essentially a black bean stew. “It’s kind of like a birthright for any kind of Brazillian. So, I remember growing up in Sao Paulo, we always had it!” says Brandon Prado. Feijoada takes a long time to make, so usually the entire family gets together to share the meal. While you’re at it, might as well invite some friends over too! Like Brandon says, “If you came over and you had some of that, you’re family!”

The KFC Original Recipe

Alright, alright, I know: this isn’t exactly a family recipe. But who among us didn’t have one of those KFC nights growing up? You know, those nights when your parents worked late and didn’t have time to make something for dinner,  but still wanted the feel and flavor of a home-cooked meal? Nothing was better than hopping in the car, going through the drive-thru, and grabbing that big ol’ bucket of Original Recipe chicken from KFC. 

Even though we may never know these secret family recipes, maybe that’s a good thing? Having to get them from our loved ones means we get to spend time with them every time we get a craving for those delicious dishes!  Now if you’ll excuse me, we’ve spent all this time talking about secret recipes so I’m gonna head to KFC for their new Secret Recipe Fries. Maybe I can actually crack this one…

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com