Culture

The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

There is no way around it: the secret to good cooking is paciencia, letting things simmer, allowing the ingredients to melt together in perfect harmony. Ask any abuelita if she uses the microwave for cooking and she will give you a face of no mames, mijito. Latin American food, in particular, is deceptively complex and needs to follow both carefully written family recipes and plenty of panza. Yes, us Latinos cook not only with our hands but also with our spirit: every plate of mole or arepas is representative of culture and history. Each dish is the product of processes of colonization and mixing of indigenous and European cultures. Ingredients like corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans, which are endemic to the American continent, coexist with pork, beef and eggs, imported by the Europeans centuries ago. 

However, we seem to live in a day and age where having things ahorita, era para ayer, is wanted rather than rejected. Fast food and fast cooking are a response to our turbulent and fast-paced modern lives. It sucks, though. Cooking is about feeding our bodies and our souls, so nada de atajos en la cocina, chaparritos, porfas. Here are 20 folks who just don’t get that cocinar necesita paciencia and totally savaged tradition by employing lazy tactics and hacks. Shame on them! Also, using extra plastic in the kitchen is honestly terrible in this juncture of worldwide environmental crisis. 

Let’s make it clear right here and right now!  Tortillas DO NOT FREEZE WELL!

Credit: 21-ct-chickencheeseflour-taquito. Digital image. El Monterey

If you want to have a cardboard tasting thing that looks like a Mexican spring roll, go ahead. Or you can fry your own taquitos with fresh ingredients. 

Ketchup on Mexican Rice? Cue Laura Bozzo voice: QUE PASE EL DESGRACIADO!

Credit: Screenshot. https://tastykitchen.com/recipes/sidedishes/fantastic-mexican-rice/

This is an insult to tradition and an abomination. Who would cook Mexican rice with ketchup, which is basically sugar on steroids. Asquito

Packaged arepas are OK, we guess, but stuff them yourself!

Credit: 61Ep-K9T76L. Digital image. Amazon

Buying this atrocity is as silly as buying pre-made quesadillas. And in all honesty, pre-made food rarely uses the best cheese options. So just buy arepas (or make them fresh!), buy a nice queso and stuff them with tus dos manitas, que para eso te las dieron, chaparrito

Whoever freezes pico de gallo doesn’t deserve to eat it!

Credit: 71S9xIvyYFL._SL1500_. Digital image. Amazon

Pico de gallo salsa is delicious because of its freshness. Whoever is trying to freeze it here (using this lazy ass baggy opener, like yeah, let’s waste even more plastic and kill more marine life) deserves the soggy, stale mess they will eat when the pico de gallo thaws. 

The dude who uses instant oats for his version of arroz con leche

Credit: Instagram. @ed_edd_lalo

Ay, no manches. Really, oats will never taste like an arroz con leche that has been simmering on the stove for two hours. Never, ever, nunca de los nuncas. Please do not try at home. 

This person who used Doritos to make their own version of chilaquiles

@chefjedigaming

Can we barf already? If you can go to the shops to buy Doritos you can as easily buy tortilla chips! Or better still, buy corn tortillas, cut them in triangles and fry them. It is not that hard, seriously! 

Don’t be lazy and make a pastel azteca instead

Credit: Instagram. @jaren_diaryrecipecollection

Lasagna sheets are the laziest trick on the book. You can as easily buy flour tortillas and make a pastel azteca. And let us guess, you bought taco seasoning instead of actually making it yourself? Get off your trasero and stock your herbs and spices shelf, reinita.

Seriously, microwave quesadillas have to STOP! PERO YA!

Credit: k6vel0osj9z01. Digital image. Reddit.

Look at this gooey mess. Seriously, it is not that hard or time-consuming to hear up el comal and make your quesadilla there. A good quesadilla has a slightly crunchy tortilla and not this soggy, sad excuse of a wrap. GUACALA! 

We just can’t let this go! There are even video tutorials for microwave quesadillas!

Damn, how menso do you have to be to actually need a video tutorial on how to put two tortillas, cheese, and ham together. In the 2 minutes that this video lasts, anyone can actually make a proper queca! 

Seriously? A can of black beans for arroz con frijoles negros?

The Cuban abuelitas of the world would be disgusted at this! Black beans have to be bought raw, cleaned, left to rest in water overnight and then cooked slowly and tenderly, as garlic caresses their surface. Any good Latino knows this. 

Just stop it with fajita seasoning mixes!

Credit: sheet-pan-chili-lime-shrimp-fajitas-104-680×1020. Digital image. Creme de la Crumb

OK. Just open your cupboards and mix these eight simple ingredients instead of tasting preservatives with every bite: 

  1. 4 teaspoons chili powder.
  2. 2 teaspoon ground cumin.
  3. 2 teaspoon paprika.
  4. 2 teaspoon salt.
  5. 2 teaspoon sugar.
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder.
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Simpler, and much cheaper. You are welcome. 

Talking about fajitas…. this is some lazy person. And seriously, salad dressing?

Credit: DSC_0017. Digital image. classyclutter.net

We have seen it all, but seriously… Paul Newman’s salad dressing on fajitas. Also… prepackaged veggies? So many wrongdoings here, in culinary and environmental terms! 

Ya en serio, y’all need a tutorial to open a jar?

Credit: YouTube. @Julie Y Familia

Granted, making mole from scratch is time-consuming and sometimes the best way to tackle the craving is opening a good old jar. But this is not cooking, in all seriousness, it is merely putting things together. If you need a tutorial to panfry some pollo and add broth and a jar of mole, perhaps you should not be allowed en la cocina

The people who use esta atrocidad 

Credit: 61kt-v8Y+iL._SL1500_. Digital image. Amazon

One of the greatest joys of Latin American cooking is feeling the ingredients on your hands. Corn is fun to cook with, so why use this horrible device instead of a knife. No sean flojos. And it probably takes longer to use this than actually using your manitas

Y miren esto! 

Credit: pqrqrr1420342263521. Digital image. Light in the Box.

Aguacates have been one of the biggest victims of the gentrification of Latin American food. Does anyone need a tool for cutting them? Those pinches hipsters.  NO MORE PLASTIC WASTE, PLEASE. 

Yeah, kill whales with your plastic empanada maker, no worries.

Credit: 81oOfHC4AjL._SL1500_. Digital image. Amazon.

Among the stupidest tools we have seen this must be high on the ranking. If you want to make a nice Argentinian empanada, use your fingers to create those lovely dobleces. One of the great things about Argentinian cuisine is how rustic it looks, so this is a travesty that, to add insult to injury, harms the planet. 

Cut your own dang mushrooms!

Credit: 62919011_0_640x640. Digital image. Ocado

If you want to make your quesadillas and enchiladas a bit healthier, you can always add mushrooms. Just sauté them with oil and garlic y chilito and you got it. But please, please, please, slice your own mushrooms and save the planet from more cochina plastic waste. 

And peel your own damn elotes!

Credit: th_husked_corn_95ddbfda-de7d-4c10-a914-c704df84ccef_1024x1024 (1). Digital image. Hudson Valley Harvest

The same goes for corn! Take the fresh corn. Take the husk off. Get those pelos de elote in the trash can and rinse the corn. Easy as you lazy ass! 

Poor guacamole, the victim of so many cultural appropriation crimes… yes, mayonnaise… 

Credit: bowl-of-guacamole-and-sliced-avocado-545875085-5828c12b5f9b58d5b11391e0 (1). Digital image. The Spruce Eats

This infamous recipe promises that it will only take you 5 minutes to achieve a creamy guac. But it uses mayonnaise, which we frankly think is disgusting. If you want creamy guacamole, add a bit of olive oil and mix, then add a bit more until it is to your liking. 

The famous spring pea and avocado guacamole recipe

Credit: merlin_143416878_62a82be1-3e63-4da2-ba43-06ec39b38ce6-articleLarge. Digital image.
Credit: merlin_143416878_62a82be1-3e63-4da2-ba43-06ec39b38ce6-articleLarge. Digital image. The New York Times 

This recipe triggered a national debate on what guacamole actually is. It promises a chunky texture, which can be achieved instead by adding chopped onion and tomato. This is a mix between pea mash and our Mexican staple dish, and we really take offense. 

Chipotle Was Hit With The Biggest Child Labor Penalty In Massachusetts After An Investigation Proved The Chain Was Violating Child Labor And Sick Time Laws

Culture

Chipotle Was Hit With The Biggest Child Labor Penalty In Massachusetts After An Investigation Proved The Chain Was Violating Child Labor And Sick Time Laws

chipotle / Instagram

Chipotle was just hit with the biggest child labor penalty in the state of Massachusetts. Turns out the Mexican fast-food chain was cited for violating child labor and sick time laws. Some of the child labor violations include minors working without valid work permits, working too late into the evening and too many hours daily and weekly. 

Massachusetts’s Attorney General just hit Chipotle with the largest ever child labor penalty in the state.

Attorney General Maura Healey ordered the largest child labor penalty ever issued by the state against the Mexican restaurant chain after finding an estimated 13,253 child labor violations in its more than 50 locations.

“Chipotle is a major national restaurant chain that employs thousands of young people across the country and it has a duty to ensure minors are safe working in its restaurants,” Healey said in a statement. “We hope these citations send a message to other fast-food chains and restaurants that they cannot violate our child labor laws and put young people at risk.”

A review of the chain’s records revealed that minors “routinely worked in violation of the child labor laws,” according to AG Healey.

The fine detailed that Chipotle had employees under the age of 18 working past midnight and for more than 48 hours a week. Teenagers told investigators their hours of work were so long that it was preventing them from keeping up with their schoolwork. The company also regularly hired minors without work permits. 

Some Twitter users and former Chipotle employees were not surprised. 

“Not even a small bit surprised” tweeted one user.

Just last year, workers at an NYC Chipotle staged a mini-strike over the same issues.

“Keep your tacos, keep your bowls, pay your workers what they’re owed!” chanted the crowd of about 30 workers before employees at the Sixth Ave. store in Greenwich Village walked off the job in a staged strike. Workers at another four Chipotle outlets in the city planned to join the Manhattan group in a protest against their employer, which had violated city law by overbooking their weekly work schedules.

“Right now, we’re fighting for our rights as Chipotle workers,” said part-time employee Carlos Hernandez. “I honestly don’t believe the management shows the employees respect. They just don’t want to give us the hours. They don’t want to give us more money.”

The AG’s office of Massachusetts began investigating Chipotle in 2016.

The investigation started after a minor’s parent alleged that the employee had worked “well past” midnight at a Chipotle restaurant in Beverly, the AG’s office said. Audits between 2015 and 2019 identified child labor violations such as minors working without valid work permits, too late into the evening, and too many hours daily and weekly. The chain regularly permitted dozens of 16- and 17-year-old employees to work later than what is allowed by law and worked minors past the nine-hour daily limit and 48-hour weekly limit, the AG’s office said.

Some people have taken to social media to express their discomfort with Chipotle as a workplace.

“Working at this Chipotle makes me feel real uncomfortable” wrote one user. “They over work [their] minors”

Chipotle also did not notify employees of their right to earned sick time. 

According to the AG’s office, the chain did not properly notify employees of their rights under the earned sick time law. It failed to provide the AG’s office with complete timekeeping records and, in some locations, failed to pay workers within six days of the end of the pay period. 

The chain was cooperative with the investigation and is now in compliance with state child labor laws. 

“We are committed to ensuring that our restaurants are in full compliance with all laws and regulations and we believe that in hiring workers beginning at age 16, we can provide younger employees with valuable experiences and provide a compelling work environment,” Laurie Schalow, chief corporate reputation officer of Chipotle, said in a statement.

The settlement total is close to $2 million.

The settlement includes penalties for earned sick time violations in which managers granted employees paid time off only for certain illnesses. The violations also include failure to keep accurate records and pay timely wages. Lastly, the company was ordered a voluntary $500,000 payout to a state youth worker fund dedicated to education, enforcement, and training.

READ: Chipotle Is Expanding Its Menu Options For A Limited Time Only, They’re Adding Carne Asada To Stores Nationwide

Does Anybody Really Know What’s Supposed To Happen After You Get The Baby Jesus Figurine In La Rosca De Reyes?

Culture

Does Anybody Really Know What’s Supposed To Happen After You Get The Baby Jesus Figurine In La Rosca De Reyes?

alejandro.munoz.p / Instagram

Remember Día de Reyes when everyone cuts the rosca and hopes to god not to get the little niño Jesus? If you grew up Mexican, you probably know that whoever gets the baby Jesus figurine owes everyone tamales. But when is the tamal party? And most importantly—why? Keep reading to find out what El Día de la Candelaria means, what your abuelitas and tías are actually celebrating and how it originated —spoiler alert: it’s colonization.

February 2nd may be Groundhog Day in the United States, but in Mexico, and for many Latinos outside of Mexico, there is a completely different celebration on this date.

The religious holiday is known as Día de la Candelaria (or Candlemas in English). And on this day of the year, people get together with family and friends to eat tamales, as a continuation of the festivities of Three Kings’ Day on January 6. 

This is why your abuelita dresses up her niño Jesús in extravagant outfits.

For Día de la Candelaria it’s customary for celebrants to dress up figures of the Christ Child in special outfits and take them to the church to be blessed. Día de la Candelaria is traditionally a religious and family celebration, but in some places, such as Tlacotalpan, in the state of Veracruz, it is a major fiesta with fairs and parades.

February 2nd is exactly forty days after Christmas and is celebrated by the Catholic church as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.

Alternatively, this day also counts as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The origin of this religious feast day comes from ancient Jewish tradition. According to Jewish law, a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth, and it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. So the idea is that Mary and Joseph would have taken Jesus to the temple to be blessed on February second, forty days after his birth on December 25.

The tradition goes back to around the 11th Century in Europe.

People typically took candles to the church to be blessed as part of the celebration. This tradition was based on the biblical passage of Luke 2:22-39 which recounts how when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, a particularly devout man named Simeon embraced the child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” The reference to the light inspired the celebration of the blessing of the candles.

In Mexico Día de la Candelaria is a follow-up to the festivities of Three Kings Day on January 6th.

On Día De Reyes, when children receive gifts, families and friends gather together to eat Rosca de Reyes, a special sweet bread with figurines of a baby (representing the Child Jesus) hidden inside. The person (or people) who received the figurines on Three Kings Day are supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are the food of choice.

This tradition also carries Pre-Hispanic roots.

After the Spanish conquistadors introduced the Catholic religion and masked indigenous traditions with their own, to help spread evangelization, many villagers picked up the tradition of taking their corn to the church in order to get their crops blessed after planting their seeds for the new agricultural cycle that was starting. They did this on February 2, which was the eleventh day of the first month on the Aztec calendar —which coincidentally fell on the same day as the Candelaria celebration. It’s believed that this is why, to this day, the celebratory feast on February 2 is all corn-based —atole and tamales.

This date is special for other reasons too… 

February 2, marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which aligns with the pagan holiday of Imbolc. Since ancient times, this date was thought to be a marker or predictor of the weather to come, which is why it is also celebrated as Groundhog Day in the United States. There was an old English saying that went “if Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again.” In many places, this is traditionally seen as the best time to prepare the earth for spring planting.

In Perú the Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno and it is one of the biggest festivals of culture, music, and dancing in the country.

The huge festival brings together the Catholic faith and Andean religion in homage to the Virgin of Candelaria. The Virgin represents fertility and purity. She is the patron saint of the city and is strongly associated with the Andean deity of ‘Pachamama’ (‘mother earth’). It is this common factor of both religions that brings them together for the festival. In 2014, UNESCO declared the festival an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The main dates of ‘Fiesta de la Candelaria’ are February 2nd – 12th.