Culture

For Christmas, Study Up On Your Culture By Understanding The History Of Sangria

Oh, sweet, sweet sangria. Whether you’re a true wine lover or you just like getting lit—sangria was made for just about everybody. It’s boozy, fruity, fresh, and overwhelmingly delicious, perfect for lounging on a beach or kicking back for a movie night with your clique. Known all over the world for its party-fueling powers, sangria actually has quite a curious history (not to mention its highly exciting present—people all over love its punchy flavor). 

Perhaps you should pour yourself a glass right now—you know, to enhance everything you’re going to learn about this typical Spanish beverage.

Credit: Pinterest

Where does this tasty tonic come from? As is the case with most things food and drink, the answer is not exactly straightforward, though many historians trace sangria all the way back to the Roman Empire. In fact, early Greeks and Romans both used to add different ingredients to their wine, from honey to seeds to warming spices, like cinnamon and clove. This haphazard blending of whatever they could find eventually transformed into a beverage called “hippocras,” which was occasionally heated like today’s vino caliente.

Because water was often undrinkable due to contamination, wine and other alcoholic beverages were widely sought after, since alcohol made the water more potable. The people who inhabited Spain around 1100 BC—though, keep in mind that this part of the world was definitely not known as Spain back then—were preparing a similar drink with Phoenician grapevines. They would follow the Romans’ footsteps a few centuries later.

Although alcohol—wine included—virtually disappeared with the invasion of the Islamic Moors in the 8th century, it made its return nearly 800 years later. And with the return of wine came the return of sangria’s ancestors: concoctions that were similar to today’s blend of wine, local fruit, and the occasional spirit, but which probably took a slightly different form.

Credit: Pinterest

The first traceable mention of sangria didn’t appear until the 1800s, and that original reference is connected to the act of bloodletting—not the drink itself.

And since that first mention of sangria, Spain has really laid claim to this beverage, even though its current incarnation is relatively new. If you’ve visited any part of Spain—most notably Barcelona or Madrid—you’ve likely seen sangria advertised in every restaurant, cafeteria, and chiringuito in sight. It is undeniably delicious, incredibly strong, and something of a tourist magnet, and Spain has really embraced it as a symbol of their culinary identity.

In fact, under European law, all sangria must be made on the Iberian Peninsula in order to be classified as Sangria (much like champagne is only technically champagne if it comes from a certain part of France). To qualify as sangria, the mix must also have less than 12 percent alcohol by volume—which, let’s be honest, is probably not the case of most homemade sangrias served on the beach and at wild Spanish parties. It’s super common add bourbon, brandy, or high-proof liqueurs to the mix, and it’s even more difficult to measure the alcohol percentage of a hand-blended pitcher full of booze.

So how did sangria become such an international superstar?

Credit: Pinterest

It’s true—sangria is beloved by people all over the world, especially in the UK and the US. Sangria’s introduction to the US is said to have happened in 1964 during the New York World’s Fair of that year. As 1964 was less than 60 years ago, sangria’s presence in the US more short-lived than many of New York’s Spanish restaurants, which date back to the Spanish Civil War (a conflict that ended in 1939). At the World’s Fair, the Spanish Pavilion served its guests a refreshing, wine-based fruit punch that was an instant hit, and ever since, sangria has been a highly popular summer drink throughout our country and around the world.

A key difference between Spanish sangria and its international counterparts is the type of wine used. Traditionally, wine from the Rioja region is chosen, although Tempranillo varietals were also commonly used (these are generally full-bodied red wines that are less costly to produce). In the UK, French Bordeaux wine is used most often, a region that usually features Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes. In the US, there is not necessarily one preferred varietal, with sangria instead serving as a sort of canvas for bartenders and restaurateurs to experiment. It seems that every place has its own sangria recipe, revising the original template to create a whole array of tart, inviting, powerful beverages.

Although winter may not seem like the season for sangria, there’s never a wrong moment to enjoy this tasty drink. It’s quick, inexpensive, and easy to make—why not pour a pitcher right now? Salud!

Moms Are Sharing Videos Of How To Make Their Comida For Their College-Bound Kids After A Mom’s Burrito-Folding Video Went Viral

Culture

Moms Are Sharing Videos Of How To Make Their Comida For Their College-Bound Kids After A Mom’s Burrito-Folding Video Went Viral

Michelle Gonzaes / YouTube

Last week, California Polytechnic State University student, April Olvera posted a video sent to her by her mamá, and the video went viral, already wracking up nearly ten million views, and nearly one million likes in less than seven days.

Olvera, away at college, texted her mom, Silvia Dominguez, to say that she didn’t know how to fold a burrito, and her mom sent her a video that contained a soothing video-folding lesson.

While some couldn’t help but wonder why Olvera didn’t know how to fold a burro, her mamí’s special brand of cariño shown in the forty-second burrito-folding lesson was the focus of the comments that followed.

Other Latinas needed the lesson too!

Twitter

Another Latina Twitter user, couldn’t get over the way Olvera’s mother, Silvia, repeated the lesson.

Twitter

Two guys commented on Olvera’s mom’s soothing voice, but we think @carys_arsenic nailed it.

Twitter

And this guy too who points out Ms. Dominguez’s calm in the face of a world that seems to be coming apart at the seams.

Twitter

When Olvera told her mother that her video went viral and inspired so many positive comments, Dominguez said, “Maybe it’s not the burrito. Maybe it’s about family and love.”

Burrito-folding-lesson mom, Silvia Dominguez, speaks Spanish in the video, smiling the whole time, clearly happy to be able to help her daughter away at college with anything, using her own phone propped up on the counter to capture the lesson.

“Okay,” she says in Spanish, holding up a corn tortilla, “Imagine that this is my flour tortilla. Add what you’re going to use, fold it from this side, fold it from that side, and roll it. Did you see that?

And then she unrolls the burro and repeats the steps: It’s a circle. Fold it here, fold it here, and roll it. Nice! Okay, bye. I love you.”

We also like how Burrito-Folding-Lesson Mom is even helping grown-ass men.

Twitter
@rsencion
Twitter

And because imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, here’s a video made by the author for her son on his way to college in the fall.

Watch the video below.

READ: Yalitza Aparicio Brought Her Mother To The Oscars And Other Incredible Things Latinas Did Last Night

McDonald’s Now Has Quarter Pounder Scented Candles That You Definitely Didn’t Ask For

Culture

McDonald’s Now Has Quarter Pounder Scented Candles That You Definitely Didn’t Ask For

Celin/ Pinterest

You know that friend whose car always smells like the food they ate the night before? You know the one, it’s the same friend who also has a collection of takeout Wendy’s, Taco Bell and McDonald bags shoved into the pocket of their backseats. Well now, you too can be that friend. Thanks to McDonald’s you can make literally anywhere smell like oily takeout.

McDonald’s announced this week that it will make a six-pack of scented candles that will smell like your favorite Quarter Pounder ingredients.

McDonald's six candles come in all the scents you'd expect.

Anyone familiar with the key ingredients in the beloved QP knows these scents include bun, ketchup, pickles, cheese, beef, and ooh baby onions. In honor of the Quarter Pounder’s 50th birthday, McDonald’s is also releasing a line of merchandise that includes calendars, lockets, mittens, shirts, and pins.

Draw up a romantic bath for you and yours that smells like an oily stove and pickles by getting the items here on the McDonald’s fan club website.