Culture

If You Love Conchas, Concha Con Needs To Be On Your List Of Conventions And Here’s Why

Can you imagine a food festival dedicated only to conchas? Well it happened and it was more amazing than you think. The 2nd annual Concha Con was hosted on June 23 at the Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights, California. More than 60 vendors sold delicious Latinx treats, particularly conchas, obviously. But the event was more than just edible conchas. It truly is a concha aficionados dream come true. Check out how the event went down.

First, and most obviously, there were all kinds of conchas to enjoy.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Bread might just empty carbs but there was no empty stomachs by the end of the event. It was the concha-themed food festival for the ages. Is there any question why they have already celebrated their second year?

Of course, there were cooking classes.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Chef Sandra Garcia was on hand to teach people how to make sweet bread from scratch. She also gave lessons on how to make concha french toast.

“This is a recipe that I learned when I was just starting up and it feels great to reteach this to our community,” Garcia said. “Concha bread is a part of every Latinos breakfast so why not have it as french toast.”

Ever have a concha torta? Me neither. But it does exist.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

A concha torta is something that you might make when you run out of regular bread but Casa de Brisa found a way to make this fantasy dish a reality. There was even an horchata concha drink available that tasted just like pan dulce.

Don’t worry, the unicorn fade is still alive and well and stuffed with ice cream.

Gourmeletas was on hand to deliver various types of concha ice cream including its sellout Uniconcha. The Uniconcha sold out within two hours of the event and had one of the biggest lines at Concha Con. #NotSurprised

Edible conchas were not the only conchas for sale.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

How can you not just melt over these cute little concha boxes? Take ???????? my ???????? money. ????????

You didn’t know you needed a concha map of Los Angeles, until now.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Various artists had pop-up shops on hand to display there love and hunger for conchas. An entire exhibit was dedicated to the history of pan dulce and it’s impact on Latino culture. This is relevant.

It was more than just a festival of conchas but a celebration of Latino culture.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Families spent the day immersing themselves in their culture. This is something that is so necessary right now and Concha Con facilitated this experience.

It was only one day, but it was a glorious, carb-filled day.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

The event sold out and is a reminder of how special food is to the Latino community especially conchas to the Mexican community. Hopefully Concha Con will be bigger anf longer next year.


READ: Meet Wendy – A Food Enthusiast And YouTuber Who Eats Everything With Hot Cheetos

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Calle Ocho Is Promising A Stellar Lineup For The Upcoming Calle Ocho Live Event

Entertainment

Calle Ocho Is Promising A Stellar Lineup For The Upcoming Calle Ocho Live Event

carnavalmimai / Instagram

Calle Ocho knows that you need something to make this never-ending quarantine feel better. Well, the upcoming concert promised to give everyone a chance to escape their reality for now.

Calle Ocho Live is coming to you this Sunday and promises a fun time in quarantine.

The U.S. has seen a very long Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent quarantine. Calle Ocho is giving you a chance to escape the shared reality of confinement we are all experiencing. In a time of self-isolation, this coming together of some of the biggest music stars is so exciting.

Calle Ocho is giving you a chance to still enjoy one of the biggest Latino music festivals.

Covid-19 has ended mass gatherings of people. We can’t have a music festival in person right now, but Calle Ocho knows that we can still have one virtually. Finally. A music festival where you don’t have to put on pants and can just enjoy some time dancing in your living room in just your comfy clothes.

Viewers can prepare for performances from Gloria Estefan.

The Cuban singing superstar is one of the most recognizable faces and voices in Latin music. Estefan has been rocking out for decades and people clearly still can’t get enough of her.

The Hispanic Heritage Month celebration also includes heart throb Camilo.

There is a lot to love about the Latino community and Camilo is one of them. Just kidding. The man is a talented musician and has one of the quirkiest looks in Latin music, and that is saying a lot. The Colombian singer is guaranteed to bring some excitement to Calle Ocho Live.

Peruvian songstress Daniela Darcourt will also be part of the lineup.

“We said we would create a strong, inclusive, and powerful line-up that captured the diversity of Latino tastes, genres, and cultures, and that’s what we’ve done here,” said Jorge Fernandez, president of the Kiwanis of Little Havana/Carnaval Miami in a statement.  “Through Calle Ocho Live, we’re not only stretching to do well for the families we serve through the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation but also through the way we reflect the evolution of Latinos in America.”

The lineup promises a fun, high-energy, and eclectic mix of music from throughout Latin America. Make sure you tune in on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. EST/ 12:00 p.m. PST.

READ: Gloria Estefan Will Be Hosting A Latinx Spinoff Of ‘Red Table Talk’ Alongside Her Daughter And Niece, ’La Flaca’

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Here Are 13 Interesting Facts About The History And Symbolism Of Pan De Muerto

Culture

Here Are 13 Interesting Facts About The History And Symbolism Of Pan De Muerto

PanDeFuego / Instagram

The yearly calendar for Mexican social life pretty much is dictated by baked goods. You know the year is wrapping up when bakeries and supermarkets start stocking traditional pan de muerto, a type of bread that is placed on altars and enjoyed by families around Day of the Dead. It is a delicious, spongy delicacy that tastes like brioche but has a distinctive smell, product of the orange peel and orange blossom essential oils that the traditional recipe calls for. This is what you need to know about pan de muerto. Hey, if you wanna get on your abuela’s good books this is your chance to impress her. 

1. The origins of pan de muerto seem to go back all the way to Aztec times.

Credit: Instagram / breadpanaderos

Of course, the original owners of the land on which Mexico City exists now did not have wheat, eggs and oranges (the main ingredients for pan de muerto) before the Spanish arrived. Rather, according to chronicles from the time and some historians, they made a sort of cake with amaranth flour. Some believe that this bread contained blood product of human sacrifices and that it was an offering to the gods. 

2. The Spanish conquistadores changed the recipe, as they found this culinary practice violent and barbaric.

Credit: Instagram / chicayeyemx

During colonial times the Spanish learnt of this practice and changed the recipe (it no longer contained actual dead people’s blood!). The amaranth was replaced with wheat flour and the top was sprinkled with sugar turned red with a colorant, which symbolized blood, an echo of the Aztec tradition. Some bakeries still use red sugar. 

3. So what about the circle in the middle of the bread?

Credit: Instagram / pandefuego

The circle represents a skull, and the elongated pieces of bread stand, of course, for the bones. The skull and bones are the most coveted bits of every pan de muerto, so snatch them as soon as you can (although you might get someone upset, as there is nothing worse than finding a boneless pancito de muerto laying around in the kitchen!). The long bones also symbolize the tears we shed for those who have passed away before us. 

 4. So you have noticed the sesame seeds in lieu of sugar in some panes de muerto?

Credit: Instagram / cielorojomex

Well, that reveals that the bread is from the Mexican state of Puebla, where sesame seeds are sprinkled on top. This has to do with the French influence on culinary affairs, and we all know French bakers like to get creative. 

 5. And in Oaxaca pan de muerto has a completely different shape and actually features a corpss. It’s much less creepy than it sounds.

Credit: Instagram / illsaygiselle

Everything is just a little more elaborate in Oaxaca and pan de muerto is no exception. The Oaxacan variety is made with extra egg yolks and has an anthropomorphic design, complete with a little edible doll which represents the dead. They are simply delicious.  

6. BTW, the orange blossom essence in pan de muerto has a very poetic meaning.

Credit: Instagram / gustobread

Orange blossom has a delicate and comforting smell that inevitably takes us back to the Day of the Dead altars that have been important in our lives. The smell is meant to symbolize the everlasting presence of the faithful departed. It is a sweet celebration of the connection between life and death. 

7. Pan de muerto is a perfect example of contemporary Mexican identity.

Credit: Instagram / laotiliamx

This bread is the epitome of the cultural mish mash that defines contemporary Mexican identity. It has a prehispanic origin with religious connotations, but it has developed into a European food (bread is, after all, a product brought by the colonial power). It is also used in a celebration that fuses ancient indigenous beliefs and Catholic tradition.  

 8. It is round, like the circle of life.

Credit: Instagram / _piggy_back

Its roundness is also a reminder of the cycle of life and death, a cycle that has no definite end and no definite beginning. Indigenous cosmology frames life and death as coexisting and complementing realms. 

 9. If the bones form a cross, they stand for the four cardinal points.

Credit: Instagram / catiabril68

The compass directs each arrow, or bread bone in pan de muerto, to a point ruled by the Aztec gods Quetzalcóatl, Tláloc, Xipe Tútec and Tezcatlipoca. 

10. Panes de muerto are placed on altars so the dead can feast.

Credit: Instagram / lacasadelalolas

Of course, come November 3 you can have the delicious pan for yourself, and if you make a traditional chocolate caliente it will be even better. 

11. Of course, as with everything else, pan de muerto has been gentrified. Just look at this delicious monstrosity.

Credit: Instagram / tresabejas

Yes, we gotta admit that this looks absolutely delicious and we don’t wanna get all puritan when it comes to popular culture (which, far from stable, is a mutating thing), but having melted conejitos (a traditional Mexican chocolate) is a bit too much. Is it Day of the Dead or is it Easter? You can’t always have both! 

12. Oh, hipsters, just sprinkling matcha on absolutely everything! 

Credit: Instagram / weeatmx

Yes, perhaps following the gentrifying wave of Starbucks some Mexican bakeries are starting to add green matcha tea dust in with the traditional sugar. Verde que te quiero verde, hipsters seem to recite in unison. 

13. Can everyone just please stop? Is innovation just killing the true meaning of this Mexican traditional bun?

Credit: Instagram / yerliju

We mean, what fresh hell of deliciousness is this? No, seriously, a pan de muerto hamburger is just a tiny bit over the top, isn’t it?

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