Culture

It’s Called Pollo Loco For A Reason, But You Can Also Order Vegan Meals

@elpolloloco / Twitter

I know what you’re thinking, it’s called Pollo Loco for a reason. But no worries, there’s room for vegans at Pollo Loco too. Plus, we’ve got hacks on hacks to help you avoid eating a pile of iceberg lettuce. Trust.

Here’s just a few of the menu items you can order from Pollo Loco if you’re vegan:

1. The Beans Rice *Cheese* Burrito

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Instagram

Yes, you can have all the classics, including the Beans Rice & Cheese burrito, but ask for it sans cheese. Unlike Taco Bell, Pollo Loco will charge extra for the guacamole, but worth it.

2. Chicken Black Bean Bowl

CREDIT: “vegan el pollo loco, vegan options at el pollo loco, vegan black bean bowl” Digital Image. PETA. 22 June 2018.

K, so, you’re gonna sound like a living stereotype, but get the Chicken Black Bean Bowl without the chicken and cheese. Just look at that avocado. It looks so real for fast food.

3. Tostada Salad

CREDIT: “Tostada Salad” Digital Image. PETA. 22 June 2018.

At Pollo Loco, the salad shell is vegan, woop! Just sub avocado for chicken and ask for no cheese, sour cream or cilantro dressing.

Pro tip: ask for avocado salsa instead, and watch your family seethe with jealousy.

4. Pollo Bowl

CREDIT: “Pollo Bowl” Digital Image. PETA. 22 June 2018.

This is one of the cheapest bowls you can get, and it comes with a side of tortillas, Yassss. Once again, you’ll just sub chicken for avocado and pile on the salsa.

5. Butter Lettuce Tacos

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

Yuppp, the lettuce doesn’t make it vegan, but it does make it healthier than a corn tortilla. Plus, you’re getting all the protein you need with those black beans. Just be sure to ask to sub pollo for avocado and no cheese. 🙂

6. Classic Crunchy Taco

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

Haven’t you memorized this yet? “Sub avo for pollo, add beans for protein, no cheese, please.”

7. Chipotle Avocado Burrito

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

It’s like the beans, rice and cheese burrito, but it also comes with housemade chipotle salsa, yum.

Otra vez: sub avo for pollo, and no cheese or sour cream.

8. Avocado Taco Al Carbon Platter

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

It’s like the other tacos, but it comes with all the citrus, onion and cilantro you need in your tacos. Just sub avo for pollo and ask for no cheese or sour cream.

9. Classic Salad

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

She’s a beauty, once you take all that dead chicken off her, and substitute for buttery, heaven-sent avocados. Just ask for no cheese and no cilantro dressing, and lather her in salsa. You’re golden, boo.

10. Double Chicken Avocado Salad

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

I know, it sounds silly, but order the Double Chicken salad, and substitute for double the avocados. Just ask for it without cheese or sour cream and add beans for extra protein. 🙂

11. Avocado Bacon Tostada Salad

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

She’s already dairy-free you guys! So all you have to do is sub avocado for the chicken and dump the bacon.

12. Chicken Avocado Taco Platter

CREDIT: @JendrioGonzalez / Twitter

I know, you’re probably thinking I’m going to say sub avo for pollo, but you’re wrong. This guy subbed beans for pollo, which probably makes more sense re: protein. I say, why choose? Get los dos!

Caption: “100% Vegan! POLLO LOCO TAQUITOS”

13. Pinto Beans

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

Let’s talk sides. The pinto beans are vegan! This is truly a rarity, you guys, since it’s usually cooked with pork lard. Not at Pollo Loco, friends. Go loco.

14. Broccoli

CREDIT: @HeuristicLineup / Twitter

Yep, it’s a shocker, but their broccoli is also vegan. Fun fact: you can sub rice for broccoli for any meal at Pollo Loco, if you’re looking for a way to get more veggies in.

15. Double Chicken Burritos

CREDIT: @xtheteaaddict / Twitter

Like I said, double the chicken lost is double the avocado gained. This is like the BRC but it also has cabbage, pico de gallo and cilantro. Go big.

16. Double Chicken Superfood Bowl

CREDIT: @simpliyvonne / Instagram

It’s like the other bowls, but it also has spinach. #Superfood. You know the drill, mija, ask for no dairy or dressing and sub avocado for pollo.

17. Double Shrimp Mango Bowl

CREDIT: @veganmatrix / Instagram

Ask for avocado instead of shrimp and enjoy the mango salsa, spinach and carrots that this version comes with!

18. Grande Avocado Chicken Bowl

CREDIT: @solarfruitfairy / Twitter

Life Hack: get your goods without pollo, sour cream, and cheese, bring it home and top it with soyrizo and vegan sour cream.

Life Hack x2: Order a side of chips, and just dump your bowl on top, add some vegan cheese and put ‘er in the oven. De nada.

19. Rice

CREDIT: “Rice” Digital Image. El Pollo Loco. 22 June 2018.

Yup, she’s also vegan. Sometimes, I just get a side of rice and pinto beans and bring her home to put on top of my local, organic kale salad. Y’know, for when you’re being lazy healthy.

20. Chips & Guac

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Twitter

Thank god for Pollo Loco’s chips & chunky guac, you guys. Their avocado game is on point.

I’ll never stop saying it, but if you’re vegan, you should never leave the house without your vegan sour cream. Elevate your game.

21. Tú sabes que Pollo Loco *delivers*?

CREDIT: @elpolloloco / Instagram

Yup, I guess you can leave your vegan sour cream at home, folks. They’re bringing it straight to the comfort of your vegan kitchen.

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

Culture

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

While the Internet might call it “Ghey Corn,” this rainbow-colored corn variety is officially dubbed Glass Gem corn. Not only are there a rainbow of colorful kernels, but they’re also shiny, prompting the ‘Glass’ description. The person responsible for our new favorite, gay-friendly corn is a man by the name of Carl Barnes, who passed in 2016. Barnes enjoyed his life in Oklahoma and cultivated his own personal seed bank passed down from his Cherokee ancestors. Barnes chose to save and replant the seeds from the cobs with the most color, and eventually developed strains of vibrant corn.

One day, Barnes decided to move and asked his friend, Greg Schoen, to protect the seeds. Schoen grew a small handful of the seeds and was shocked when he peeled back the corn stalk to reveal rows and rows of shiny, rainbow-colored corn. Schoen was so excited, he posted the image to his Facebook, and it promptly went viral. Soon, the two cultivated enough seeds to sell online, and people around the country have grown gorgeous varieties.

Green thumbs around the world bought satchels of the precious seed and the following season, were “blown away.”

Credit: @watermicrobe / Twitter

While Schoen may have initiated the first viral sensation over Glass Gem corn in 2012, Ameet Pinto’s viral post has become Mother Nature’s best queer bait yet. With over 7k likes, “I STAN GAY CORN” is the most liked comment. Then, “Taste the rainbow.” 

Some people literally cannot believe this is corn, accusing Pinto of creating a jelly bean cob.

Credit: @mr_plantgeek / Twitter

“Those are just jellybeans ur not foolin me!!!!!” commented one unbeliever. Someone else seems to think that a profitable venture would be to sell the kernels as jelly beans as a scam. Still, others are bringing the negativity to this rainbow party, assuming that because the cob looks different from the mono-crop, that it must be a GMO frankencorn. “Glad to see people trying to live in Chernobyl,” tweets one disbelieving Shane. 

Glass Gem corn is not a GMO crop.

Credit: @Rainmaker1973 / Twitter

In fact, this variety likely healthier than the corn you might buy at a store, which may have been genetically modified rather than artificially selected. Barnes artificially selected the prettiest corn from his crop and decided to grow from those seeds the following year.

When folks hear the story of Carl Barnes, it just adds a whole new depth to the color.

Credit: @CwdickD / Twitter

“Fun fact about these is that they were discovered by a dude who was half-Cherokee and he started growing a sh**load of different corn types to reconnect with his heritage,” tweeted one person. As Barnes was artificially selecting which corn kernels he’d store as seeds for the next year, he grew closer with his Cherokee heritage.

For those of you expecting rainbow colored popcorn, don’t.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

All that’s left of the kernel when you pop the corn is usually that brown kernel skin that gets stuck in your teeth. In the case of Glass Gem corn, you can sort of make out the varying colors of popped kernels, but the popcorn itself is the same color as regular Joe Schmoe popcorn.

The Glass Gem corn isn’t that sweet.

Credit: @SlowFoodUSA / Twitter

According to Pinto, the corn isn’t sweet like yellow corn, so it doesn’t make for good fresh esquites or elotes. All popcorn comes from different varieties of corn that you have to dehydrate to turn into cornmeal or popcorn. “We’ll be eating some colorful popcorn this winter,” Ameet tweeted.

There’s even a Facebook group for Glass Gem growers to share their growing tips and cooking tips.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

In case you were wondering, the Facebook group “Glass Gem Corn” says you can prepare creamy Glass Gem polenta by following these instructions: “Pour into a shallow pan to cool. Cut into squares and lightly brown in a sauté pan.” We don’t know how you do it but keep on making gay polenta, please.

All in all, the Internet is pretty a-maize-d by the gay corn.

Credit: @DonConklin5 / Twitter

“Corn says lgbtq rights,” tweeted one stan. We’re with them. This is one of those moments that we’re allowed to be in wonder over how indigenous folks cultivate the land.

READ: Oaxaca Is Mexico’s Cultural Capital And Home To Its Largest Indigenous Communities, Here’s What You Need To Know

PSA: Here Is How You Can Pit An Avocado And Not Give Yourself Avocado Hand

Culture

PSA: Here Is How You Can Pit An Avocado And Not Give Yourself Avocado Hand

candypandawax / _sylviecouture_ / Instagram

So yes, there have been multiple reports of people injuring their hands while trying to cut and remove the pits of avocados. But this should not keep us away from one of the Latin American fruits par excellence. The avocado tree probably has its origin in South Central Mexico. In strict terms, the avocado is a berry with a very large pit in the middle. 

Avocado is one of the great gifts of the Americas to the world, as commercial production has expanded all throughout the world. The tree benefits from war, Mediterranean climates and thrives in semiarid landscapes. In Australia, for example, avocado, locally known as simply “avo” is perhaps the most popular fruit. Avo on toast is a staple in cafes and homes all through the country. 

However, the expansion of avocado has also brought some minor tragedies with it due to the lack of experience that some home cooks have in the arts of fruit chopping.

Credit: animationblock / Giphy

Yes, we are actually not kidding: avocado slicing has spilled more blood than a serial killer in a slasher film!

A nicely sliced avocado has got to be one of the most beautiful sights on planet Earth! We understand why people want to get it just right. 

Credit: the_chopping_block / Instagram

Seriously. This fleshy fruit gives us beautiful hues of green when opened and its firm meat allows us to shape in in all kinds of interesting ways. Close your eyed and imagine a bowl of perfect avocado cubes… you will smell a fresh tortilla heating on the comal. Taquito de aguacate, anyone?

So first things first: the infamous “Avocado Hand.”

Credit: @gabbytakesnaps / Twitter

This seems to be a sort of accidental outbreak of lack of common sense among gringos worldwide (and by gringos we also mean British, Canadian, Australian and European folk). According to Food & Wine, “approximately 8,900 emergency room visits in 2018 could be directly tied to avocados”. That is like a small town of people running around the kitchen like headless chickens holding a paper towel to their hands and screaming “Oh-My-God” while shedding a tear. 

And no, it is not an urban legend, Avocado Hand actually exists.

Credit: @mrsfergusonxoxo / Twitter

So contrary to, say, apples, avocados have a soft skin and soft flesh. And contrary to, say, watermelon, they do not have a hard bit to get through. Some people underestimate how easily the knife will cut through the flesh and end up putting too much pressure on the knife while keeping their palms or fingers directly opposite. The result: blades penetrate through human flesh, savaging skin and painting a symphony of crimson pain. But avocado is soft and cuts easily, and everyone should know that. In Mexico, the government once financed a campaign to promote avocado consumption, and called the fruit “the butter of vegetables”. 

Some people are just displaying their injuries like war wounds to be proud of

Credit: candypandawax / Instagram

In this day and age of selfies and a sometimes unhealthy obsession with self-branding, some are actually publishing photos of their avocado hands as if they were a badge of honor. Seriously, ladies and dudes, no one wants to see those stitches and gooey stuff coming out of your fingers, especially not on a closeup. Please just don’t! 

And even get tattoos to celebrate the accident.

Credit: _sylviecouture_ / Instagram

Well, we actually have to admit this one is pretty funny and kinda cool. We love the minimalist outline and the dramatic nature of this skin art piece. It is Shakespearean and hipster in equal measures. 

So avocado hand pins are a thing, apparently.

Credit: toucantango / Instagram

Do you know how Boy and Girl Scouts wear all sorts of badges on their uniforms to celebrate their achievements? Well, if you had an avocado hand incident and for some reason, you are proud of it, you can wear this pin. Alternatively, you could also wear it as a reminder of your encounter with the cuchillo, so you remember to be very careful when cutting and pitting a delicious avocado. 

Use a spoon, people.

Credit: @qvh / Twitter

So here’s the deal. Using a knife to take the seed out might look cool, but it is not for everyone. Do it safely and please use a spoon and just scoop the seed out. You might lose some of the flesh, but that’s OK (better than losing a finger). 

This technique is for expert knife-handlers only, so don’t attempt at home. Frankly, this is a show off technique for mamones.

Credit: mashable / Giphy

Seriously, this technique is a bit silly even for experienced cooks. 

If you are feeling creative, pixelate your avocado.

Credit: Anonymous / Giphy

One of the newest hipster trends in the cafe industry is to serve pixelated avocados, which basically look like this. Just use an extremely thin and sharp knife, place the avocado on board, get your fingers away from the bottom of the fruit and cut it in cubes, little by little, stopping just before you hit the skin. The results are fun and give us una onda de los ochentas

And some people take their carving obsession to the extreme: introducing avocado art.

Credit: theavocadoshow / Instagram

Just wow. This is already an Instagram trend and features some pretty dedicated avocado lovers. The fruit gets all-black quickly after being cut open when exposed to room temperature, so the most experiences avocado carvers perfect their skills in walk-in fridges. Yes, it is pretty, but with all due respect, it is also a little pointless. 

But if you think you just can’t slice an avocado without injuring yourself, you can get one of these contraptions.

Credit: takemymoney / Instagram

If you have to trust or faith in your abilities, you can buy one of these plastic utensils that cut, slice and pit avocados in a safe, child-friendly way. No blades or pointy ends to be scared of! No one if judging if you get one! This is actually a good tool to get the chamaquitos to help in the kitchen. Guacamole para todos!

But always remember avocados are not to blame.

As they say, don’t shoot the messenger. The humble avocado is just the conduit through which an entire generation of foodies has come to the realization that they suck at handling knives. We also have to be aware of the fact that thousands of farmers and workers depend on avocado crops. In the state of Michoacan, in central Mexico, many families survive working in big avocado plantations. This state has been ravaged by cartel-related violence and the avocado industry is one of the few stable sectors in the industry. So think twice before affecting the industry. 

By the way, the word avocado comes from aguacate, which comes from an indigenous word that means testicles… you are welcome.

Credit: makeitmove / Giphy

Yes, the English word avocado comes from the Spanish aguacate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word āhuacatl. This word, you guessed it, means “testicle”. This is probably due to the likeness of the fruit and the male body part. We dare you to eat your next avocado and not think about this. Smashed avocado, compadres? Ouch!

READ: Avocado Hand Is Sending People To The ER In Record Numbers And Abuelas Everywhere Are Left Asking Why