Culture

We Are Already Craving These Delicious And Decadent Noche Buena Dishes

I don’t care what time of year it is–I’m always emocionada for the shockingly massive piles of food that reach my plate at the holidays. Whether you feast on Christmas Day, Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) or every day of the year, you’re guaranteed get nostalgic (and very hungry) previewing your menu this year. Promise, this is what you’re eating.

If you’re Mexican, there will be pozole.

CREDIT: @mexicanfoodmem / Twitter

I mean, there will always be pozole, no matter the time of year, but at the holidays, your mami might actually buy raw hominy instead of the can. It’s a special occasion.

Tamales are always the showstopper.

CREDIT: @nuestravisionMX / Twitter

For two days before Christmas, there are half a dozen tias dancing up a storm in the kitchen. If you look closely enough, you realize they’re actually prepping and cooking a hundred tamales for the biggest family dinner of the year.

Or, if you’re Puerto Rican, you’ll eat pasteles.

CREDIT: @cocinamax / Instagram

Instead of corn, platanos verdes are used for the masa and stuff them with all the sofrito and pork available. Boiled banana leaves hold it all together instead of corn husks to wrap them.

Island gente will have ropa vieja.

CREDIT: @_a3m_ / Instagram

Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, are all about this shredded beef dish. Just looking at it makes me miss my abuela and the most exciting times of my childhood: when we were eating her ropa vieja.

Of course, dinner will be at the house con la caja china.

CREDIT: @triumphando / Instagram

It’s the most effective and delicious way to slow roast a shocking amount of animal flesh for the family festivities. Cuidado, because sometimes the neighbors get a whiff and just invite themselves in.

The main dish will be lechón.

CREDIT: @littlefoodieph / Instagram

As a kid, it was mildly disturbing, but the adults just tell you to move past it because it’s all the sabroso. Eventually, you stop naming the pig and just dig in.

Venezuelans crush the Pan de Jamón

CREDIT: @migas_florida / Twitter

Speaking of jamón, Venezuelans know how to combine the best flavors into one single bite. It doesn’t matter where you come from, if the panadería is selling, you’re buying this pan.

Ensalada de Gallina will be the only salad at the table.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. PopSugar. 25 September 2018.

Another Venezolana classic, it’s not Navidad without this tasty potato salad. Unlike the kind you’d find at an American grocery store, this one includes pollo, carrots, peas, green apple, and pineapple. We put la fruta in everything.

Every Latino meal will have some version of Moros y Cristianos.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. PopSugar. 25 September 2018.

Call it gallo pinto, arroz con frijoles, moros y cristianos, cualquiera: Latinos make it best. More specifically, we make it in a 10 gallon massive pot and hope for leftovers. The next morning, we fry an egg on top and it’s perfección.

Boricuas will have arroz con gandules on deck.

CREDIT: @SimplyTodayLife / Twitter

We’re here for the saffron, pigeon peas and olives. It’s gallo pinto for breakfast and arroz con gandules for all the other special occasions.

Buñelos con Almíbar de Vino y Canela everywhere.

CREDIT: @casa.marcelino.gto / Instagram

Pretty much all of us have some version of this crispy, sweet, doughy pastry. Don’t even call this a donut hole.

You can’t have a buñelo sin champurrado.

CREDIT: @pacificfoods / Twitter

It’s basically Mexican hot chocolate but there’s nothing basic about it. It’s thick, it’s spicy and it’s secret ingredient is masarica and cinnamon.

Of course, someone’s going to bring ponche.

CREDIT: @MelissasProduce / Twitter
Rice and fruta: we put it in everything. Our punch is better than yours because we have guava, tejocotes y flor de jamaica. And we made tequila happen.

Somehow, Panettone is always available.

CREDIT: @plantbased_fede / Twitter

Panettone was brought from Italy to South America and we have reclaimed it as our Latin fruitcake. Every Miami supermarket carries them and every Latino in Miami has a slice on noche buena.

If you’re Cuban, you already know what follows this picture:

CREDIT: @Smrtqbn / Twitter

It’s Crème de Vie, the Cuban version of eggnog. They’re real heavy on the Bacardí.

Mientras, Boricuas can’t get enough of coquito.

CREDIT: @PuertoRicoPUR / Twitter

The main difference between coquito and crèma de vie is that Puerto Ricans used condensed coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. We’re dairy intolerant.

That arroz con leche though.

CREDIT: @puntonieve.arroz / Instagram

Latinos cannot have a single meal without rice, not even dessert. Everyone makes it a little different, but I always make it with coconut milk and heavy on the canela.

Natillas are basically Latino Christmas pudding.

CREDIT: @postresfacilesyricos_ / Instagram-natillas

Please hold while I collect my drool. Sometimes called Dulce de Leche, this is basically a thick, creamy vanilla cinnamon custard. Galletas required.

Last but far from least: flan

CREDIT: @stefany_dct / Instagram

It’s the dessert that you’ve never made but love to eat. Thankfully your abuela and tías continue to bring it to every party. It’s not that I don’t think I can make it, it’s that I’m afraid to make it without a flock of Latinos to help me eat it.

Oh, but it’s not over yet.

Literally one week later, we gather again for Rosca de Reyes.

CREDIT: @ana_abularach / Twitter

January 6 is Three Kings Day and you’re forbidden from taking down Christmas decorations until after the three kings have come to visit baby Jesús. Of course, it’s just another excuse to plan another family celebration because whoever gets the slice with the baby figurine in it has to host the next dinner. Tamales required.


READ: Mole Is One Of The Most Recognizable Foods In The World. Here’s How It Came To Be

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Tamales Elena Is About To Become LA’s First Afro-Mexican Restaurant

Culture

Tamales Elena Is About To Become LA’s First Afro-Mexican Restaurant

tamaleselenayantojitos / Instagram

The Los Angeles food truck Tamales Elena y Antojitos has been serving up authentic Guerrero food for 20 years. Tamales Elena y Antojitos is a staple at E 110th St. & Wilmington Ave. in LA’s Watts neighborhood offering up banana leaf-wrapped tamales. Now, Tamales Elena y Antojitos will become a restaurant.

Tamales Elena y Antojitos is opening up LA’s first Afro-Mexican restaurant.

Not even a pandemic will slow them down. The family behind the famous food truck in Watts will soon be welcoming guests (following COVID-19 guidelines) in Bell Gardens, California. The tamales, pozoles, and array of Afro-Mexican dishes will be served to everyone who has come to adore the Mexican establishment.

The restaurant will add another cuisine to the vast palate that is LA’s food scene.

Los Angeles is home to a diverse and inviting list of restaurants representing cultures from around the world. Some of the best Mexican food in the country can be found in Los Angeles and Tamales Elena y Antojitos is adding another level to that representation. Angelenos are celebrating the Afro-Mexican restaurant staffed and owned by Afro-Mexicans.

The restaurant has a special place in people’s lives.

The family has been offering up their unique food to residents of Watts for 20 years. In two weeks, Maria Elena Lorenzo will be offering up her family recipes in-store to more people as of July 15. The family has spent years in the food industry and have worked hard to make their mark on LA’s food scene.

Lorenzo’s daughters have been played a big role in getting the restaurant going.

According to LA Eater, Lorenzo’s daughters have spent years working in various restaurants around Los Angeles. Her daughters, Maria, Heidi, Judepth, Teresa, and Nayeli spent time working front-of-house and back-of-house at restaurants including Rivera, Petty Cash Taqueria, and Guerrilla Tacos. Heidi Irra worked at Mezcalero in downtown Los Angeles. Now, the daughters are bringing their experience to the family business and helping their mother start her restaurant.

Lorenzo, lovingly known as Mama, is clearly going to have a lot of guests are her restaurant.

Congratulations, Mama! This is one of those stories we love to see. Nothing makes you prouder than watching Latino families come together to chase the American Dream and succeed.

READ: Guelaguetza, One Of LA’s Most Iconic Mexican Restaurants, Is Sharing Some Of Their Recipes On Instagram

Little Caesars Hands Customer Pizza With Pepperoni Swastika Made As ‘Insensitive Joke’

Things That Matter

Little Caesars Hands Customer Pizza With Pepperoni Swastika Made As ‘Insensitive Joke’

@LaskaMisty / Twitter

One Ohio couple recently received an order for a pizza that’ll leave a pretty rancid taste in your mouth.

After running errands with his wife Misty Laska this past Saturday night, Jason Laska said they picked up a pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars. Eager to eat they cracked open the pizza once they got home, receiving a shocking surprise that likely ruined their appetite.

Misty noticed a backward laid swastika made out of pepperoni slices on the pie.

After getting in touch with Little Caesars, the couple was told it was meant to be a funny and private joke.

According to The New York Times, when Misty Laska first opened the takeaway pizza she noticed that it was not sliced. Then, she and her husband realized that the pepperoni pieces had been prepared in the shape of a swastika.

Misty told Reuters that when they first realized what they saw they were “just silent.” Furious, they returned to the store to return the pizza, the shop was closed. The next day, the pizza chain, which is the third-largest in the country called, to apologize.

“We have zero tolerance for racism and discrimination in any form, and these franchise store employees were immediately terminated,” Little Caesars told The New York Times. “This conduct is completely against our values.”

“That’s why it was not cut or anything like that,” Jason Laska said. “They made it as a joke and it was never intended to go out to a customer.”

However, even if the joke was meant to be a private one it is gross and unacceptable.

“Even in a joking manner, it’s absolutely unacceptable,” Jason Laska added.

Jill Proctor, a spokesperson for Little Caesars confirmed the incident and said that the employees involved were fired in a statement to CNN. “We have zero tolerance for racism and discrimination in any form, and these franchise store employees were immediately terminated. We’re deeply disappointed that this happened, as this conduct is completely against our values,” Proctor continued. “We have also reached out to the customer to discuss this personally with him.”

In response to the firing of the employees, Misty has said she hopes they are learning an important lesson.”These are the kinds of things that are continuing to fuel the hate and the confusion that exists in the country and in the world,” her husband said after sharing that they both hope

The Laskas hoped that by sharing their experience others will educate themselves about Nazism and the symbols used to perpetuate it.