Culture

Conchas Are An Important Part Of Mexican Cuisine Today, But Where Did They Come From?

Are you the type to dip your conchas in café por las mananas? Or do you like them with beans and sour cream, oozing with all that sweet and salty goodness? No matter how you eat them, it’s undeniable that conchas are a quintessential part of the Mexican diet—they’re perhaps the most ubiquitous type of pan dulce, gracing the shelves of panaderias all over the US and Mexico. Instantly recognizable from their shell-like appearance (“concha” does mean “shell,” after all), conchas are a special feature at holidays like El Dia de Los Muertos and Navidad, but they’re always around for us to enjoy at any moment. And while they play a major part in the daily lives of Latinos across the country, they have a curious history that makes them taste that much sweeter.

Like many current Latin American foods, conchas can be traced back to the colonial era, when the Spanish brought some of their culinary customs across the Atlantic.

Credit: Pinterest

Wheat was deeply important to early Spanish settlers. Not only were wheat breads a major part of the European diet, but wheat also carried a religious connotation within their Catholic faith. Just think about misa: the ritual of the Eucharist involves the passing and consumption of a wafer, and this wafer is (and always has been) made from wheat.

In addition to the Spanish, French recipes also took root in the Americas as demand for wheat-based bread grew. The appearance of skilled French bakers in the 17th century led to the implementation of things like brioche buns, baguettes, and (por suerte) the early ancestors of panes dulces into the “New World” diet. (Fun fact: the first French military intervention in Mexico was actually called Guerra de los Pasteles, or The Pastry War.)

It is said that pan dulce is really the result of highly creative collaborations between Catholic nuns, indigenous women, and criollas innovating with the limited ingredients they had access to at the time. In fact, most panes dulces today consist of a blend of indigenous and European ingredients, (like corn flour and wheat flour). Conchas, specifically, are made from yeasted brioche dough—dough that is inherently eggy and fatty (read: ridiculously delicious).

The concha consists of two main parts: a sweet, bready base and a crunchy sugar topping.

Credit: Pinterest

The concha adopts the appearance of a shell by pressing a bread stamp over the topping during the final rise of the dough, right before placing it in the oven to bake. Although the bread itself is soft, airy, and delicious, it doesn’t usually bear much flavor—the topping is home to most of the taste and texture. These flavors can range from chocolate and vanilla to pink and yellow (yep, you read that right—if you’re a true concha connoisseur, you know that each color is its own flavor).  

The fusion of tasty French bread and sweet, sugary toping has less obvious origins. We can’t help but wonder: can this combination be traced back to European colonists attempting to appeal more to indigenous tastes by adding extra sugar to their breads? Perhaps the cookie dough topping helped preserve the bread somehow, when preservation methods were far less advanced? Maybe it was just a matter of preference—after all, French bakers gleaned a lot from German techniques, which often involved the liberal application of streusels (a sort of cookie dough) on cakes and breads.

A version of this sugar-topped sweet bread is also found across the globe in Japan, where it is known as melonpan.

Credit: Wikipedia

With the advent of globalization, it is, of course, quite possible that this sweet bread started with the concha in Mexico and later spread to Asia. But according to bread historian Steven L. Kaplan and culinary historian Linda Civitello, it is perhaps more likely that melonpan and conchas—despite their similarities—originated on different continents independently of one another. Civitello suggests that both iterations are, nevertheless, part of the “Iberian peninsula diaspora . . . when the Portuguese sailed east, the Spanish sailed west.”

And that’s a pretty apt suggestion: as the Spanish were invading the Americas in the early 1500s, the Portuguese likewise invaded Japan. The neighboring European countries implemented similar wheat-based bread-baking techniques, most likely using a broad range of recipes to assimilate their respective colonies to wheat, despite Japan’s indigenous preference for rice and Mexico’s preference for corn.

And although the concha has quite a long and impressive history—with generations of people knowing of its magical powers—only recently has it begun to gain traction in the upper echelon of the culinary world. Renowned bakers across the country are experimenting with its basic ingredients to yield super creative renditions. From sesame tahini to matcha green tea, there is a concha for every preference and taste.

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All Of The October- Released Movies And Shows You Won’t Have To Rent But Can Stream If You Have Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+

Entertainment

All Of The October- Released Movies And Shows You Won’t Have To Rent But Can Stream If You Have Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+

Netflix

With October comes (yes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes) chilly weather, tons of spookiness, and a whole heck of a lot of Halloween media content! Part of the month also includes celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month, a time for Latinos to pat themselves on the back for their contributions to the culture and history of the United States. Fortunately, today’s Big Streamers are including new movies and TV shows that celebrate both Halloween and Latinidad with new seasons of “Carmen Sandiego” and “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (Shudder).”

We scoured the streaming sites for all of their upcoming October shows and movies and listed all of the ones you might enjoy this season from the 2011 film Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana to the Mexican-American favorite “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

Check out the full list of movies and TV shows coming to your favorite streamers this month below!

Oct. 1

Netflix

A.M.I.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

Along Came a Spider

Bakugan: Armored Alliance: Season 2

Bom Dia, Verônica / Good Morning, Verônica

Basic Instinct

Black ’47

Cape Fear

Carmen Sandiego: Season 3

Fargo

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma: The Second Plate

Free State of Jones

Ghost Rider

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Gran Torino

I’m Leaving Now

The Longest Yard (1974)

The Parkers: Seasons 1-5

Pasal Kau / All Because of You

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire

The Prince & Me

Poseidon (2006)

The Outpost

Yogi Bear

You Cannot Hide: Season 1

Amazon

30 Days Of Night (2007)

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

Battlefield Earth (2000)

Blood Ties (2014)

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

Kindred Spirits (2020)

La Sucursal (2019)

Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011)

Mud (2013)

National Security (2003)

Next Level (2019)

Noose For A Gunman (1960)

Nurse (2014)

Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Raging Bull (1980)

Señorita Justice (2004)

1992: Berlusconi Rising: Season 1 (Topic)

40 & Single: Season 1 (Urban Movie Channel)

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump: Season 1 (PBS Documentaries)

Cisco Kid: Season (Best Westerns Ever)

Cities of the Underworld: Season 1 (HISTORY Vault)

Cold Case Files Classic: Season 1 (A&E Crime Central)

Get Shorty: Seasons 1-3

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (Shudder)

Liar: Season 1 (Sundance Now)

Mrs. Wilson: Season 1 (PBS Masterpiece)

Mystery Road: Season 1 (Acorn TV)

PNS Kids: Spooky Stories!: Season 1 (PBS Kids)

Tales of Tomorrow: Season 1 (Best TV Ever)

The Great British Baking Show: Season 1 (PBS Living)

The Loudest Voice: Season 1 (Showtime)

Thou Shalt Not Kill: Season 1 (PBS Masterpiece)

Disney

Maleficent

Oct. 2

Netflix

A Go! Go! Cory Carson Halloween

Ahí te encargo / You’ve Got This

The Binding

Dick Johnson Is Dead

Emily in Paris

Òlòtūré

Serious Men

Song Exploder

Vampires vs. the Bronx

Amazon

Bug Diaries Halloween Special – Amazon Original Special

Savage X Fenty Show. Vol. 2 – Amazon Original Special

Disney

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Mr. Holland’s Opus

Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under (s1)

The Simpsons (s31)

Zenimation Extended Edition Premiere

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Episode 102 – “Happy Birthday, Gino!”

One Day at Disney Episode 144 – “Pablo Tufino: Ride Show Technician”

Weird But True Episode 308 – “Our Solar System”

Oct. 4

Netflix

Colombiana

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

Oct. 6

Netflix

Dolly Parton: Here I Am

Saturday Church

StarBeam: Halloween Hero

Walk Away from Love

Oct. 7

Netflix

Hubie Halloween

Schitt’s Creek: Season 6

To the Lake

Oct. 9

Netflix

Deaf U

Fast & Furious Spy Racers: Season 2: Rio

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Ginny Weds Sunny

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Super Monsters: Dia de los Monsters

Oct. 12

Netflix

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Season 3

Oct. 13

Netflix

The Cabin with Bert Kreischer

Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef

Oct. 14

Netflix

Alice Junior

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky

Moneyball

Oct. 15

Netflix

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting

Batman: The Killing Joke

Half & Half: Seasons 1-4

Love Like the Falling Rain

One on One: Seasons 1-5

Power Rangers Beast Morphers: Season 2, Part 1

Rooting for Roona

Social Distance

Amazon

Halal Love Story (2020)

Playing With Fire (2019)

Oct. 16

Netflix

Alguien tiene que morir / Someone Has to Die

Dream Home Makeover

Grand Army

In a Valley of Violence

La Révolution

The Last Kids on Earth: Book 3

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Unfriended

Oct. 18

Netflix

ParaNorman

Oct. 19

Netflix

Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2

Oct. 20

Netflix

Carol

The Magic School Bus Rides Again The Frizz Connection

Oct. 21

Netflix

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Season 3

Rebecca

Oct. 22

Netflix

Bending the Arc

Cadaver

The Hummingbird Project

Yes, God, Yes

Oct. 23

Netflix

Barbarians

Move

Over the Moon

Perdida

The Queen’s Gambit

Amazon

Mirzapur – Amazon Original Series: Season 2

Oct. 27

Netflix

Blood of Zeus

Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt: Season 4

Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine

Vilas: Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada / Guillermo Vilas: Settling the Score

Oct. 28

Netflix

Holidate

Metallica Through The Never

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight

Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb

Oct. 29

Amazon

Movies

Soorarai Pottru (2020)

Oct. 30

Netflix

Bronx 

The Day of the Lord

His House

Somebody Feed Phil: Season 4

Suburra: Season 3

Amazon

Truth Seekers – Amazon Original Series: Season 1

Disney

Disney the Owl House (s1)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

X-Ray Earth (s1)

The Mandalorian Season Premiere “Chapter 9”

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Episode 106 – “Peri’s Prickly Pregnancy”

The Right Stuff Episode 105 – “The Kona Kai Seance”

Weird But True Episode 312 – “Camping”

One Day At Disney Episode 148 – “Dana Amendola: Disney Theatrical Productions”

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Oct. 31

Netflix

The 12th Man

Amazon

I’ll See You In My Dreams (2015)

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

Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Entertainment

Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Nickelodeon

It’s no secret that over the past few decades, people of color worked to fight for equal representation on screens both big and small. While, of course, there have been great POC and LGTBQ relationships on television there’s really been a spike in the spectrum of representation since our early years watching television and learning about relationships.

Recently, we asked Latinas on Instagram what shows and movies featured their favorite most diverse couples.

And the answers threw us for a time loop!

Check them out below!


“Maria and Luis on Sesame Street.”- melissa_phillips71


“Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner is The Bodyguard, they reminded me of my parents and they loved to play the soundtrack.” –millenialmarta


“The leads in Someone Great, Jane and Michael the virgin and the lesbian relationship Gentrified. It’s been 30 years and I finally found characters I can relate to.” –allyss_abyss_

“Most definitely, “Brooklyn 99”: two female Hispanics as regulars and a white person playing a Hispanic (Andy Samberg’s character’s last name is Peralta, which is a Spanish surname).” – seadra2011

“Holt and Kevin(and Rosa Diaz) have changed the way people have perceived gay couples and gay people. Nine Nine!” –chaoticbiguy


“The first on-screen presence that made me feel seen/represented period was @justinamachado ‘s character on One Day At A Time. A Latina veteran struggling with her mental health while trying to juggle school, work, love, and family? And as a main character? Whew….“-vieja.metiche

“Taína! It was on Disney if I remember correctly?? Then @americaferrera in sisterhood of the traveling pants as Carmen. 😭❤️ her life was like mine. Growing up in suburbs but never really having a place culturally.. but my girlfriends still had my back no matter our background.” –chessy__a

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