Culture

Here’s Why Mexico’s Tortillas Just Taste Better

Who doesn’t love a good tortilla? They make everything better.


They’re so popular, tortilla sales in the U.S. are expected to double by the year 2025.

JAMES STRANGE / YOUTUBE

This will put sales at a whopping $30 billion dollars, Reuters reports.

And Mexican farmers and scientists have a secret weapon to make big money: heirloom corn.


Unlike the majority of corn – a.k.a. GMO corn – found in the United States, heirloom corn is known for its rich, delicious flavor. Foodies are willing to pay more for tortillas made from these types of corn, which means the market has become more lucrative for Mexican farmers, Reuters reports. Heirloom corn can sell for as much as three times more than standard corn.

Heirloom corn is delicious and it is part of Mexico’s storied culture.

Oregon Department Of Ag / Eamon Bohan / Flickr

According to Eco Watch, Mexico has around 59 individual types of heirloom corn, which have been cultivated for more than 12,000 years. Unlike Mexican corn, most of the corn in the United States has been genetically altered for production, and as a result, much of the flavor has been lost.

Even chefs prefer the “Mexican Gold” standard for corn.

Chiot’s Run / Rick Bayless / Instagram

As Chicago-based celebrity chef Rick Bayless told Reuters, “I live in GMO corn-country and it is the most tasteless corn in the world.” However, when it comes to corn from Mexico, Bayless said, “It has taste. That’s the whole thing.” Scientists are currently developing a certification process that will ensure that consumers who buy heirloom based products are getting this “Mexican gold.”

As demand increases, certification of heirloom corn will ensure Mexican farmers are protected.

@RANCHOGORDOMeghan Hess 

While many farmers have an intimate understanding of how to grow and cultivate corn, they don’t always understand the value of the corn they are making. Often times they put their trust in “coyotes” who act as salespeople for their products. If a coyote wants, they can easily exploit these farmers. Certification will give farmers information on factors like how much their corn is worth, making it harder for people to take advantage. Mexican farmers generally produce around 5 million tons of heirloom corn every year.

As farmer Octavio Tejeda told Reuters, “We’re going to keep our traditions alive and rescue the varieties of corn that are important to us.”


[H/T] Chase for tastier tortillas starts with age-old ‘Mexican gold’

READ: Mexico Wants To Teach President Trump A Lesson, But U.S. Farmers Might Suffer The Biggest Hit

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Things That Matter

This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Look out Bad Bunny. There’s another breed of bunny in town that’s taking the internet by storm. A college student in Mexico recently went viral for the oddest thing. He has genetically engineered a strain of rabbits to be the largest in the world.

21-year-old Kiro Yakin has become a viral sensation after internet users have seen him with pictures of the giant bunnies he genetically engineered.

Yakin, a student at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla on the Xicotepec campus, is studying veterinary and animal husbandry. He began his experimentation by breeding two unique rabbit types together. The Flemish Giant rabbit and other, longer-eared bunnies that Yakin happened to notice. As a result, his monster-bunny was born.

According to Yakin, his experimental bunnies grow up to 22 pounds  Flemish Giant, while the average Flemish giant weighs 15 pounds. But make no mistake, Yakin’s bunny experiment was no accident. “It takes an average of 3 to 4 years to reproduce this giant species,” he told Sintesis.

Yakin’s ultimate goal is to breed a rabbit that can grow up to 30 pounds. “I am currently studying genetics to see how to grow this breed of giant rabbits more,” he said.

Yakin, who has had a soft spot for rabbits since he was a child (pun intended), now cares for a whopping fifty giant rabbits out of his parents’ home.

Luckily, his parents are supportive enough of his dream that they support their son (and his bunnies) financially. “I have the financial support and support of my parents to buy food a week for all 50 giant rabbits,” Yakin told Sintesis.

But he also admitted his project has a long way to go. “So far I have not set aside the time or budget that is required to start the project more seriously,” he said.

The only thing that’s preventing Yakin from committing all his time and energy to creating even bigger bunnies is–what else?–money.

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Although he already submitted a proposal to his university to try and expand his research, as of now, he is self-financed. However, Yakin makes a bit of extra cash by selling the giant bunnies to private customers.

His ultimate goal though, is to open up a large, professional farm where he can breed and cross-breed his bunnies to his heart’s content.

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