Culture

Why Found Vegan Versions Of Your Fave Latino Bites Likes Tamales And Flan So You Wouldn’t Have To

With the ever-growing popularity of plant-based lifestyles, more and more Latinx families are growing confused about why so many jovenes refuse to eat meat. And not only that—these young people are rejecting all things cremoso, too? But . . . what is life without queso and helado? What is this so-called “veganism?” How could anyone survive this way? Your familia may bombard you with questions about your vegan diet this holiday season (especially if it’s a recent decision you’ve made), but the real question is: as a vegan, how can you enjoy your favorite traditional Latino foods without compromising your plant-based ways?

The good news is that there is an abundance of alternative recipes for you to experiment with. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting ideas here, so you have several options to play around with. The bad news is that there is no good way to adequately veganize certain Latino staples, like lechon or pernil, but these other treats are tan ricos that you won’t even be thinking about those carnivorous options.

Coquito Con Coco

Credit: Pinterest

Let’s start with dessert. We all know it’s not Christmas without coquito. But did you know that coquito is traditionally made with ONLY coconut products? If your family recipe adds sweetened condensed milk, simply trade it out for coconut cream and you’ve got yourself an authentic (and vegan) chupito of this sweet, sweet nectar.

Champurrado Vegano (Tambien Con Coco)

Credit: Dora’s Table

Really, anything that requires milk—which, unsurprisingly, many of the most cherished postres do—can be augmented with coconut milk. But if you like the taste of soy or oat milk better, you can use any alternative milk to create a velvety vegan version of your favorite champurrado recipe.

Flan de . . . Coco

Credit: Pinterest

In case you haven’t noticed, coco is absolutely essential for veganizing any Latino dish. Flan is a true staple on Latino holiday tables everywhere, so why not celebrate the utility of the coconut by making a delightful vegan flan?!

Vegan Chocolate Con Churros

Credit: Pinterest

There is a very specific satisfaction to dipping a delectable churro into warm, creamy chocolate. To create the perfect chocolate con churros that meets all your vegan needs, sub milk for almond milk and butter for coconut oil. And if you want them gluten free, as well, just use gluten free harina!

Vegan Havana-Style Alfajores

Credit: Can Caramelo

Yes, oh yes, vegan alfajores are a thing. Replacing dulce de leche with date caramel, skipping the egg and using coconut oil instead of butter—all are tiny adjustments that lead to a truly indulgent after-dinner (or, let’s be honest, before-dinner) bite.

Vegan Rosca de Reyes

Credit: Pinterest

What is el Dia de los Reyes sin la rosca famosa? The Rosca de Reyes is an undeniable and much-beloved celebratory treat, and you can still enjoy it on a vegan diet! Just substitute cow milk for any alternative milk, and you are good to go.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

Credit: Dora’s Table

If you’re vegan, you’ve definitely encountered nut-based “cheeses,” many of which are super similar to the real thing! Queso fresco adds a delicious dimension to so many Latino dishes—try making a version out of macadamia nuts, which also infuse it with a tasty, nutty undertone.

Tamales Veganos

Credit: Pinterest

The true taste of the holidays is in your family’s tamales recipe. It would be blasphemy to forego this quintessential indulgence, and thankfully, replacing the meat with jackfruit is a really easy switch. Jackfruit’s texture can be very similar to carne, so you won’t be sacrificing anything about the classic tamale experience by making this slight adjustment.

Vegan Mole

Credit: VegNews

There is nothing like your abuela’s mole recipe. Seriously, literally nothing beats that. Be that as it may, you might come close to her undeniable greatness with a vegan alternative that requires the most simple adjustments, like using vegetable broth instead of caldo de pollo and making sure the chocolate is 100% dairy-free. And just like that, you have vegan mole!

Vegan Empanadas Con Chimichurri

Credit: Good Clean Health

Empanadas are classically enjoyed with a variety of fillings, though perhaps most common is some type of meat. If you’re not a fan of alternative meat products, opt for a vegetable (or many!) instead. This recipe calls for things like mushrooms, onions, and spinach, creating a multi-textural, super nutritious empanada experience. (Plus, who can say no to chimichurri?!)

Vegan Mafongo

Credit: Pinterest

Mmm, mmm, mmmafongo. Although this Puerto Rican dish is usually served with ground beef, you can easily substitute a substitute (like ground tofu, jackfruit, or even lentils) to recreate that desired texture. You can also try eliminating the “meat” altogether, using olives and roughly chopped garlic instead—but your familia might think that’s going a little too far, tbh, so you should probably play it safe.

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.