Culture

A New Museum Dedicated To Mexican Food Is Opening In Los Angeles Next Spring

Los Angeles is home to the largest Latino population in the country and it is predominately Mexican. As such the city is home to some of the best Mexican food in the U.S. Now, LA will be home to the country’s first museum dedicated to celebrating Mexican food. LA Plaza Cocina, a 2,500-square-foot facility located in LA Plaza Village, is scheduled to open in early 2019 which is currently under construction in downtown Los Angeles.

The museum got its name La Plaza Cocina, to represent how the heart of the Mexican home is in the kitchen.

Food is a key part of Mexican culture and the museum’s goal is to highlight these connections through various programs and exhibitions. La Plaza Cocina has been in the works for many years and it was natural that LA would be city that would get a museum dedicated towards Mexican food.

“Mexican food is one of our greatest cultural contributions to the world,” Board member and LA Plaza founder Gloria Molina said in a statement. “The museum will become a central space where fans of the cuisine can experience, share, savor, and explore its history and what it has become.”

Chefs that have had a huge influence on Mexican cuisine will be part of the museum’s various educational programs.

Jessica Ureña, Development Manager of Special Projects at LA Plaza, says that having the museum located in LA is one of the biggest perks especially considering how many Mexican chefs are in the city.

“When you look at Los Angeles there is such a huge influence from Mexican culture and cuisine and we want to highlight that by inviting some local chefs to teach others what makes Mexican food so special,” Ureña said.

There are already a few scheduled cooking classes for next year that include a wine tasting tutorial on Valle de Guadalupe wines, a cooking session with Humberto Raygoza, owner of the Chori-Man and a class on Maya cooking from the Yucatán. Ureña says these courses are open to the public and will be one of many ways La Cocina wants to give back to the community.

“These chefs make of the cultural fabric on this great city and we want teach people along the way the value of Mexican cuisine,” Ureña said. “We know that some people may have never taken a tortilla making course or even a mole class, this is our way of sharing that.”

The museum will be a vibrant hub for Mexican cuisine and food enthusiasts.

In addition to La Plaza Cocina, a new retail space called La Tiendita will be opening as well that will offer unique Mexican foods, cooking utensils and books available for purchase. The creation of La Plaza Cocina is an expected extension of La Plaza’s celebration of Mexican and Mexican American art, history and culture, that includes culinary studies. The museum today has its own edible teaching garden and culinary program offering workshops for children in grades K-12.

While the museum is slated to open in early 2019, LA Plaza Cocina has already received an outpouring of attention from local chefs and many people online.  Ureña says that the new space will finally give Mexican cuisine the stature it’s always deserved by not only celebrating food but passing it on to the next generation.

“La Plaza Cocina will be a place where we will tell and share stories about our grandparents food and hopefully inspire the next generation of chefs,” Ureña said. “For us its our mission to preserve our Mexican food and culture because in many ways food is Mexican’s greatest contributions to America.”


READ: 21 Facts About Mexican Dishes You Definitely Didn’t Know

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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

Things That Matter

This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

La Virgen de Guadalupe means so much to so many. Especially the Latino community in Van Nuys, California, near Los Angeles, which is reeling after an important mural depicting La Virgen was vandalized overnight.

Although security cam footage captured an unknown man defacing the mural, the suspect is still at large and the community is asking for help in finding out who committed the vandalism.

A suspect was caught on camera destroying a mural with La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The community of Saint Elisabeth Church near Los Angeles is asking the community for prayers after a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe was vandalized on church grounds. 

The parish’s security system recorded video footage of an unknown man dressed in black approaching the mural with a sledgehammer at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. He can be seen smashing the tiles that make up Our Lady’s face several times before fleeing.

On Friday, April 23, Father Di Marzio led a prayer service, which was livestreamed on the parish Facebook page. Some 30 parishioners gathered to sing and pray a decade of the rosary in front of the mural, which is roped off with caution tape, while nearly 100 others joined online. In closing, Fr. Di Marzio encouraged parishioners to “continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us, and to touch the heart of the person who did this.” 

Also on Friday, a local artist, Geo Rhodes, was scheduled to visit the mural and discuss a plan for repair, arranged by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We hope that soon we will restore the image, or have a new one more beautiful than the one we had before,” Fr. Di Marzio said.  

La Virgen de Guadalupe is extremely important to the church.

The hand-painted tile mural stands between the church and the rectory. It was installed over 35 years ago as a “symbol of community unity,” said business manager Irma Ochoa. Each square tile was sponsored by a parish family. Overlooking a small altar, the mural has become a popular place for parishioners to pray and light candles, asking Our Lady for special blessings. 

“I feel an unspeakable sadness,” said Fr. Antonio Fiorenza, who is in residence at the parish. “But I feel pity for the one who made this sacrilegious gesture. I pray for his conversion and for all those who show contempt to the Virgin Mary.”

To donate to the restoration fund, visit stelisabethchurch.org

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Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

Culture

Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

I guarantee that since Beyonce’s hit anthem ‘Formation’ hit the airwaves, we’ve all been wanting to channel our inner Bey and carry some hot sauce in our bags. But which one would you choose?  

Whether you prefer sweet and sour, ranch, spicy, or mild, when it comes to options, the possibilities are endless!

A sauce’s beauty is that every country has its famous creation that usually accompanies their traditional dishes. Every Latin American country has its mouth-watering sauce that was created using recipes passed down from ancestors.

AJILIMOJILI

In Puerto Rico, this sauce is quite popular because of its ají dulce flavor – a mix of sweet and sour notes. The green salsa is the Caribbean’s version of hot sauce and is added to recipes, such as seafood and boiled vegetables.

VALENTINA

Few of us don’t know about the magic that is Valentina. Pour that sauce all over your papas, pizza, jicama, elotes, and so much more. And it’s great because it’s available in a variety of heat levels so everyone can enjoy. 

TIÁ LUPITA HABANERO SAUCE

This Habanero Hot Sauce is an original family recipe of the brand and combines just the right amount of heat with each fruit’s natural sweetness. It is handmade in small batches, using only habanero peppers, dates, mangos, and spices. All ingredients are sourced from local farms and are non-GMO and gluten-free certified.

The sauce can be used as a condiment with breakfast burritos, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork, steak, chicken, fish, quesadillas, and more.

CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is mostly tied to Argentina, even though other countries also serve the herb-based salsa. To achieve the perfect chimichurri, mix parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Pair with meat cuts like churrasco and watch the magic happen.

CHIRMOL

In Central America, chismol or chirmol is made of tomatoes, onion, peppers and other ingredients. It’s similar to pico de gallo and is used in a variety of dishes.

RICANTE

Sauce, dressing, dip, marinade… Ricante does it all and with no sugar or salt added and with just the right amount of approachable spice. Ricante is not only Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Friendly, but tiá approved!

Ricante launched with five incredibly unique hot sauces, marrying non-traditional essences like apples, mangos, carrots, and habaneros.

SALSA ROSA

Pastas are enjoyed all across Latin America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay, which pair the dishes with salsa rosa, a tomato-based sauce mixed with heavy cream. Together, they create a pink paste that blankets a variety of pasta dishes.

TACTICAL TACOS

Wait, so not all taco bases are citrus?! Tactical Tacos knows how to do taco sauce right with their notes of orange, lime, and cilantro to start your bite out just right, followed up with a perfect hint of Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper in the background. That’s just their mild sauce, Snafu. The Fire Fight and Ghost Protocol give you a similar ride with the citrus kick but with a much bigger spice hit for those that are brave enough to try it out!

MOLE

Mole is a spicy-and-sweet sauce made from chocolate that translates. The dark brown sauce gets its heat from chiles, but also has a touch of sweetness from the cacao, almonds, and peanuts often added. The sauce is topped with sesame seeds.

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