Culture

17 Typical Christmas Foods Eaten In Latin America

Christmas in Latin America is a sensual explosion. Bright lights, loud music, kids everywhere and lots of aromatic goodness wafting out of the kitchen. The big dinner with family is usually on Christmas Eve in most of Latin America but the festivities also tend to continue on for at least a week, eventually blurring into New Years. Here are 17 of the most popular typical Christmas dishes across Latin America to give you some ideas for getting creative in your own home this holiday season.

Tamales

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Tamales are a staple life throughout the year in many different countries in Latin America but they are also one of the most prominent foods of the holiday season. Many countries make special Tamales de Navidad for the Christmas season that are easy to stack up and share with family and friends that come visit.

Pannetone

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The Latin version of the holiday fruitcake, the pannetone is found in almost every home from Mexico to Bolivia and beyond come Christmas time.  If it looks similar to the Italian Christmas fruitcake it’s because it came from the boot-shaped peninsula at some point in time, but now it is enjoyed with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve all over the new world.

Roasted Pig

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Forget the turkey (for a bit anyway), slow roasted pork is the Christmas main plate of choice in much of Latin America, especially the Caribbean. In Cuba and many other neighboring countries, the Caja China is brought out for the occasion. This is a fast but efficient way to cook a whole pig in a matter of hours and keeps all the succulent juices in the meat.

Moros y Cristianos

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Literally meaning “Moors and Christians” this black beans and rice dish is also a staple of the Christmas time feast in Cuba and throughout the Caribbean. With a hearty lard base this creamy rich dish often becomes the star of the table!

Natilla

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Originating in Spain but now a staple of the Christmas season in Colombia and many other Latin American countries, natilla is a rich dessert made from milk. Thicker than a pudding and sliceable by knife it’s decadent and simple and usually served alongside other small eats.

Bacalao

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Especially popular in Mexico for Christmas eve dinner, bacalao is salted codfish that can be prepared in many different ways. Like most traditional Mexican recipes, Christmas bacalao includes some serious heat, in this case ancho chiles.

Turkey

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An animal that was actually domesticated by the Aztecs, turkey is just as big a part of Christmas in Latin America as it is in the USA. Countries like Peru have their own al horno styles and recipes for cooking this super fowl that include local herbs and spices that really bring out the flavor of the meat.

Buñuelos

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These deep-fried fritters take different forms depending on where you are in Latin America. They are flat in Mexico for example but round as a ball in Colombia. But they are always a part of the Christmas festivities no matter where you go – try them with a slice of natilla for something extra special.

Tostones

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Also known as patacones in some parts of Latin America, these double pan-fried plantains make for the perfect chip or tortilla substitute to use for dipping. Part of the Christmas tradition in many parts of Latin America, tostones are easy and cheap to make but the art of mashing them right must be mastered.

Arroz con Leche

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Everyone’s favorite Latin desert also has a special place for reserved at the Christmas Eve dinner table. A simple rice pudding spiced with cinnamon, this easy to make treat delights both the young and old.

Lechona

Source: Twitter@Yanquillero https://twitter.com/Yanquillero/status/1066670953302843392

To make this traditional Colombian dish, which reaches epic popularity during Christmas time, you need to first roast a whole pig. Then you take out all the meat, shred it, mix it with rice and other veggies and spices, and then re-stuff the crispy fried skin. The result is heaven on earth.

Romeritos

Source: Twitter@LaComadre_MX https://twitter.com/LaComadre_MX/status/1067549880824918016

An indigenous tradition from the south of Mexico, romeritos are now a part of Christmas time feasting all over the country. Although they resemble romero (rosemary) they are actually a native wild plant known as seepweed.

Coquito

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Originally from Puerto Rico, this alcoholic beverage is similar to eggnog but with a distinctly Latin flair. Made with coconut milk, eggs, rum and vanilla, coquito is now enjoyed in many different countries around the world come Christmas time and can pack quite a punch!

Christmas Salad

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The Ensalada de Navidad is important all over Latin America but the Andean countries like Peru take it to whole new levels. Bursting with bright colored veggies, heirloom potatoes and utilizing local specialties like quinoa or huancaina sauce, Peruvian Christmas salad can often substitute for the main dish, especially for vegetarians.

Mashed Yucca

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Source: Twitter@lifegoals4me

Even though potatoes are of course from the Americas, many countries actually use the yucca as a starch just as often. Mashed yuccas are a Christmas time delight in many countries in South America, and their hearty fibrous texture blends well with a wide variety of sauces and seasonings.

Canelazo

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Popular in both Ecuador and Colombia, the canelazo is a hot herbal infused and alcohol-spiked drink made to warm up the body and ward away colds and flus. During Christmastime, canelazo is served on every street corner in cities like Quito and Bogota, which are high up in the Andes, and it makes the perfect cold season pick me up for the North American winter as well.

Cake de Ron

Source: Twitter@Ensalpicadas1 https://twitter.com/Ensalpicadas1/status/940575183840169984

This Cuban sponge cake cooked with rum and then served to the delight of all every holiday season in this island nation. Topped with a bit of ice cream cake de ron becomes a decadent treat that packs a bit of buzz-inducing punch as well.

A Viral Tweet Claims Disney Took The Story Of ‘Coco’ From A Family In Mexico And There Is A Lot Of Debate

Entertainment

A Viral Tweet Claims Disney Took The Story Of ‘Coco’ From A Family In Mexico And There Is A Lot Of Debate

There is a viral tweet by an aspiring YouTuber in Wisconsin is making the rounds on social media claiming that Disney took the story of “Coco” from a family in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga, Michoacán, Mexico. While the woman pictured in the tweet and the character of Mama Coco is very similar, there is a lot of doubt about the tweet’s accuracy. It seems like the tweet is a good example of not believe everything you hear or see on social media as pure fact.

A viral tweet is claiming that Disney created characters based on the appearance of a family in Mexico and hasn’t compensated them.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

The two are very similar in appearance, obviously. The viral success of the tweet proves that people are willing to believe that this happened. Many are even sharing their own photos showing that they met the woman in Mexico after traveling there due to the success of “Coco.”

Others claim to have met another woman in the same town who is the inspiration for Mama Elena.

Credit: @Elllllllieezz / Twitter

Creatives who worked on “Coco” did exhaustive research to make sure they got the movie right. It is crucial that corporations portray cultures and cultural events right in the 21st century. There is hypersensitivity and a strong expectation for companies to do their due diligence to guarantee that culturally relevant materials are done correctly. In that vein, Disney/Pixar did send people to Mexico to research and study up on the customs surrounding Día de los Muertos.

They did visit places in Mexico and there are moments in the film where you see recreations of structures they encountered on their trip. Disney has never denied visiting places in Mexico to do research and that parts of the film are inspired by things they have seen. However, according to responses to the tweet, there are a lot of people who think Disney did more than just get inspired by these places and the people.

The tweet caught the attention of co-director Lee Unkrich.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

The accusations have really caught fire on Twitter with little to no information backing claims. While the tweet claims the family was not compensated, Disney denies it was based on the family despite the striking similarities. There is also no evidence presented that the family nor people in the town that were interviewed signed contracts for compensation from Disney.

The daughter of animator Daniel Arriaga took to Twitter to combat the narrative she says is false.

Credit: @alyssaaestrella / Twitter

Twitter users responded to Alyssa claiming that it doesn’t matter and that the families should be compensated for the interviews and information obtained.

Another man shared a photo in 2017 showing that his grandmother was the woman they based Mama Elena on.

Credit: Brandon Guzman / Facebook

“For those of you who read my previous post about Coco…here is my abuela,” Brandon Guzman posted on Facebook two years ago. “It was her who they modeled the Abuela with the chancla in the movie after!! I’m a proud grandson!! #Pixar #Disney #Coco #LatinosInHollywood”

However, the person who originally posted the viral tweet is using the similarities in the movie and locations to push their point.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

There is no denying that some bits of Mexico made it into the movie. However, it can be argued that it was done to further the authenticity of the movie and the storyline for people wanting to see themselves represented.

There is no winning or losing this argument as people will believe what they want.

Despite people who worked on or related to those who worked on denying the story, the rumor of Disney causing harm to a community in Mexico.

Those standing up for Disney are calling attention to the dangers of believing everything you see on the internet.

Credit: @Scarletttt_x3 / Twitter

There have been multiple instances of people blindly believing things that are posted on social media. The lack of necessary fact-checking before posting has led to misinformation spreading unchecked on social media. It is up to the users to make sure that they do their own research and determine what is true or not. As for this story, it seems the internet will forever be torn over the validity of the claims made.

READ: These Fans Theories About What A ‘Coco’ Sequel Would Look Like Sees Miguel At 17 And Returning To The Land Of The Dead

Chisme Says Javier Bardem Is Close To Landing The Role Of King Triton And People Have Some Thoughts

Entertainment

Chisme Says Javier Bardem Is Close To Landing The Role Of King Triton And People Have Some Thoughts

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff

Disney just recently announced that Halle Bailey would be portraying Ariel in the live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and finally we are starting to see better presentation of POC on the big screen.

The reaction to her casting was huge and, of course, came with it’s share of racist trolls.

But Disney is giving us another reason to celebrate ‘The Little Mermaid’ with word that Javier Bardem is in talks to start as Ariel’s father, King Triton.

Javier Bardem could possibly play King Triton in the live-action ‘Little Mermaid.’

Credit: @RottenTomatoes / Twitter

Big news from Disney — Spanish actor Javier Bardem is reportedly in talks to join the cast of Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of the ‘Little Mermaid.’

And the best part? He’s up for the role of Ariel’s dad and the ruler of Atlantica, the mighty King Triton. If the reports are true, Javier will be joining a star-studded cast for the highly-anticipated flick.

Although Javier is in talks to play King Triton, other actors have publicly said they’d want to be considered in the Rob Marshall-directed movie. Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews took to his social media and posted a selfie of himself as the underwater ruler.  “Ariel’s Dad!!!!,” he wrote alongside the image.

Reactions on Twitter have been mixed to the news but a lot of people love the idea of Javier Bardem as King Triton.

And you can count us among that group. He’s a very talented actor, who, in fact, has won an academy award. So we have faith that he’ll be an amazing King Triton.

And this user had a very beautiful way of looking at the possible casting.

Credit: @DEADLINE / Twitter

The sea is definitely a colorful place. Plus, also, mermaids aren’t real so Disney can cast whoever they want in which ever role they want.

While this person was excited for the possibility of something like Cinderella.

Credit: @DEALINE / Twitter

And we have to say that we agree. Brandy in Cinderella was everything and we would love to see Halle Bailey bring that same sort of energy to this role as Ariel – and we have faith that she will.

Though it looked like many on Twitter weren’t having any of it.

Credit: @IGN / Twitter

It looked like some were confused by the whole family tree while others just wanted the so called classic ‘Little Mermaid’ (read: white) that they grew up with and already know.

But more than one Twitter user easily shut down the haters.

Credit: @Spartan901 / Twitter

That’s right people. Mermaids aren’t real. They could cast this however they want to cast it.

While many others were totally stanning for Terry Crews.

Credit: @people / Twitter

Count us in on this as well. Who doesn’t love funny man Terry Crews?! Apparently, he also really wants the role. He even tweeted out a photo of the film with the caption #ArielsDad.

Whoever plays King Triton will be joining a star-studded cast.

A few weeks ago, the studio announced that R&B singer (and Beyoncé’s protégé) Halle Bailey would take on the role of Ariel, while Melissa McCarthy would play Ariel’s nemesis Ursula. Other castings include 12-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s best friend Flounder and Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina playing Scuttle, the pair’s other friend that gives them access to objects from the human world. Harry Styles is also reportedly in talks to play Ariel’s love interest Prince Eric.

READ: Racist Twitter Is Coming For The Black Actress Recently Tapped To Be ‘The Little Mermaid’ And She Ain’t Batting An Eye

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