Culture

The Fake Fruit On The Kitchen Table Was The Cruelest Thing To A Cuban Child Growing Up

Cuban culture is very food heavy. From the delectable dish called ropa vieja to the delicious and mouth-watering moros. Since food is one of the most important parts of Cuban culture, it makes sense that we’d spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It also makes sense that some of the most iconic things we think of about our childhoods has to do with the kitchen. Here are 15 things you are guaranteed to find in a Cuban kitchen.

1. An old, beat up pressure cooker that is used to cook everything.

Legit, this thing looks so old that you think your abuela snuck it out of Cuba and even at 5 years old you questioned the safety of cooking with this thing. However, those moros always came out bomb af. ?

2. The fly swatter.

We all know it. We’ve all seen it. It was always the same fly swatter that hung there near the kitchen sink and was rarely used to discipline the flies. It was used to discipline you instead.

3. Mojo by ?? the ?? gallon. ??

CREDIT: amazon.com

Nothing made you more excited as a little Cuban kid than coming home (or going to abuela’s) and smelling the strong and distinct scent of this garlic, citrus marinade washing over all of your senses. To this day you probably have a gallon or two in the pantry and you put this stuff on everything.

4. More Jupiña sodas than you’d need to satisfy the army.

These were crack and we could never say no to them, especially on a hot summer day while listening to salsa music in the kitchen.

5. Guava paste for days.

CREDIT: Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez / mitú

This was something that was always stock-piled if you were a Cuban living outside of Miami because it was not easy to come by. It was so precious that when you did manage to find some, you’d clear out the shelf and hide it in the pantry.

*Note: This is actual footage from my present-day kitchen.

6. First Communion photos on the fridge.

CREDIT: mitú

Doesn’t matter if it was one month ago or 30 years ago. Mami y abuelita love showing all of their friends how preciosa you were when you took First Communion.

7. Keebler Export soda crackers and the big green tin that lived on the counter.

It lived on the counter because it was so bulky and big that it literally didn’t fit anywhere else in the house. But that was fine because you and your hermanos would clear a tin in two days tops. And, yes, they had to be Keebler or else they were trash.

And all those empty containers quickly became Tupperware for all the bulk items that needed storage like rice or beans.

CREDIT: mitú

And sometimes they would just be used to hold precious muñecas from your childhood that mami just couldn’t bear getting rid of.

8. You’d always see some freshly washed Ziploc bags drying out in the sink.

It wasn’t because you were #goingbroke, your family just believed in not wasting things that can be used again. Don’t lie. You’ve done this.

9. Random bottles of pickled fruits and vegetables that you were never going to eat.

CREDIT: beautifulhouse.com / Pinterest

To this day, I have no idea who created this little fade and how long it’ll last. One thing was for sure, though. These were strictly decoration and they would be cycled out every year for the “newer” models.

10. An old-school cafetera that lived on the stove.

Much like the Mexican comal, this bad boy never left the stove unless it was either serving you cafecito or being washed.

11. Black beans on black beans on black beans.

It was never really clear if abuela just forgot that she already had 30 bags of black beans before going to the store or if she was preparing for a national state of emergency. Either way, she is the only person in the family that knows how to properly season the beans. It’s like she had some special santeria that made them taste so good.

12. There was always a map of Cuba.

Why? Who knows, but by the time you were 7 years old you knew the exact shape of the motherland.

13. A bowl of fake fruit that usually hung out on the kitchen counter.

It is a fact that the trust issue of many Cuban children stems from the first time they took a bit of an apple only to get a mouthful of wax or styrofoam. Then they’d get yelled at for trying to eat it. Who does that?

14. Pik-Nik shoestring potatoes were always on deck in case you got a hankering for salt.

You ate so many of these as a kid that you can still smell the cardboard used to make the packaging. Tbh, you just thought about buying some more right now.

15. A radio that blasts Celia Cruz all day and night because, why not?!

CREDIT: Christina Henderson / mitú

Only the queen of salsa can get a Cuban grooving and jiving in the kitchen. ?


READ: 21 Smells that Perfectly Sum Up Your Cuban Childhood

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Spanish Actor Javier Bardem Will Be Playing Cuban Entertainer Desi Arnaz in a New Movie and Fans Wish Hollywood Cast a Latino Instead

Entertainment

Spanish Actor Javier Bardem Will Be Playing Cuban Entertainer Desi Arnaz in a New Movie and Fans Wish Hollywood Cast a Latino Instead

Images via Getty

Recently, it was announced that Amazon studios will be producing a movie based on the lives of groundbreaking Old Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. According to reports, Nicole Kidman is set to play Ball while Spanish actor Javier Bardem will be playing Arnaz.

Seeing as Arnaz is widely viewed as one of the first Latino actors to achieve mainstream success in the United States, this news was positive for many. But for others, the news was less than ideal.

Some critics are lambasting the decision to cast Bardem as Arnaz, seeing that Bardem was born and raised in Spain, and is therefore not Latino.

One disgruntled Twitter user wrote: “I guess it’s really hard to find a Cuban actor so you have to hire a Spaniard…Whitewashing can happen to Latinos too.”

The criticism around Hollywood relying on Spanish actors and actresses to play Latino roles is not a new one. For years, Spanish actors like Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, and Paz Vega have played Latino characters in American movies. The preponderance of this phenomenon have led some people to accuse Hollywood of “white washing” Latino characters by casting Spanish actors.

Antonio Banderas is one of the most famous examples of a Spanish actor who built his career off of playing Latinos.

He has played Latinos for so long that many people think he is, in fact, Latino. But when he was erroneously called a “person of color” by American publications when he was nominated for an Oscar in 2020, there was quiet the outcry in Spain.

Spanish publications condemned American media for having an “absurd obsession” with race, and not understanding that Spaniards are, in fact, white.

Publications wrote arguments like: “Banderas might pass as a Latino ‘person of color,’ to an Arkansas farmer, great-grandson of Germans, but never to a California delivery man born to Guatemalan immigrants.”

To some observers, it seems that Hollywood prefers casting Europeans as Latinos because Hollywood sees Europe as more “sophisticated” than Latinidad.

25-year-old Spaniard Juan Pedro Sánchez, summed up the problem on Twitter, saying: “A lot of people in Spain are bothered if others confuse them for Latin American because Spaniards see Latinos as people of color, and they don’t want to be associated with that.”

He went on to say: “What bothers me is not being considered a person of color, but that people ignore that Spain was a colonizer country. It erases that history.”

The bottom line is, fans are frustrated that Hollywood keeps looking to European actors to cast Latin American characters.

Study after study shows that there is still a stubborn lack of representation for Latinos onscreen. And when there is finally a role that puts a Latino character front and center, Hollywood prefers to hire a European actor over a Latino one.

Javier Bardem is an exceptionally talented actor and there’s no doubt that he will tackle the role of Desi Arnaz with creativity and dedication–but fans’ frustrations at the casting choice doesn’t have to do with Bardem’s acting capabilities. It has to do with the all of the ways that Latinos are discounted–including professionally.

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Get Your Jajas From These Netflix Specials To Ease Your Holiday Blues

Entertainment

Get Your Jajas From These Netflix Specials To Ease Your Holiday Blues

Juan Ocampo / NHLI via Getty Images

Nothing makes life a little better than some hearty jajajas. Whether you are alone with your fur baby or in the living room with your quaranteam, it’s good to laugh. Netflix is ready with some hilarious stand-up specials from Latino comedians.

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: “One Show Fits All”

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is back to keep us all rolling with laughter in his Netflix stand-up special. The comedian who has kept us laughing for years does not disappoint in “One Show Fits All.” The set is filled with celebrity impressions and jokes about the family and some at his own expense. His show will give you the nostalgic feels you didn’t know you needed will leaving you in stitches.

Tom Segura: “Ball Hog”

Tom Segura came to play in his Netflix stand-up special “Ball Hog.” Get ready for an uncomfortable ride through jokes about moms, dads, follow dreams, and everything in between. If you’re a parent, you’ll get his brutally honest take on parenting and protecting yoour children from anything bad by all means necessary.

Franco Escamilla: “Bienvenido al mundo”

Franco Escamilla is bringing observational humor to everyone willing to listen. If the trailer is an indicator for how funny the set is, you are in for a treat. There is something so relatable about Escamilla’s view of the world that is littered with funny moments in the most mundane tasks, like learning someone’s name.

George Lopez: “We’ll Do It For Half”

Love him or hate him, George Lopez really understands the Latino community. He knows how our families work. Not only are we a loving and united group when it comes to the outside world, we are savage with each other. Lopez’s “We’ll Do It For Half” takes you through the most incredible and wild understandings of latino families. Like, your non-Latino friends won’t understand this stand-up as deeply as your own family.

Tiffany Haddish: “They Ready”

Tiffany Haddish promised several women comics that she would help them if she made it, and she did. “They Ready” brings together a group of hilarious women comedians and gives them a chance to be seen by the Netflix audience. One of the women welcomed to the stage is Aida Rodriguez and she slays the audience. Her stories of her wild life are so funny that you will be left breathless. These women are hilarious so bundle up and get ready to laugh till it hurts.

Liss Pereira: “Reteniendo líquidos”

Liss Pereira is a Colombian comedian everyone should know about. Her take on relationships cuts deep and will educate all of you clueless men out there. Her biggest bit of wisdom is about how men and women approach relationships different. Men like to think they are the ones who are making the decision and weighing the option. That’s cute. Everyone knows that it is the woman who decides if a relationship is worth pursuing and she is not getting into one if she does not see a real future with you.

“Lugar de Mulher”

“Lugar De Mulher” is a giving Brazilian women comedians a chance to let their humor be shared with the world. You might have to turn on the subtitles to understand the Portuguese but it will be worth it. These mulheres cover all aspects of being a women in the kind of comedy that only Latin American women can.

“Zona Rosa”

Gey. Gay. Gay. “Zona Rosa” gives four LGBTQ+ comedians in Mexico their time to shine in the limelight as they tackle what is means to be queer in Mexico. The first season had four episodes and fans are waiting for the second season to drop. The comedians discuss everything from sex to drugs to learning about their own sexuality later in life. It is a wild roller coaster so buckle in and enjoy the ride.

READ: Here Are Some Latino Comedians To Brighten Up Your Instagram Feed With Some Good Jajas

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