Culture

How This Non-Mexican Became The Biggest Spicy Food Lover

A lot of non-Latinos assume we all love spicy food and are born with chilis in our mouth, and well, that’s not true. For some of us, our cuisine is more centered around fried corns and flour with cheese, leaving us having to learn the ways of spicy food the hard way. But, for me, the journey was delicious.

My parents are from Colombia and Ecuador, two countries not typically known to have super spicy dishes.

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Not at all.

Growing up, we didn’t have hot sauce bottles in the house. We mostly had garlic. A lot of it.

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As a Miami girl that ate a lot of Cuban food, I can tell you that Cuban food doesn’t have much spice either.

Typical meals included a lot of rice, arepas, platanos, potatoes and grains.

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A lot of their dishes tend to be carb-heavy.

My idea of adding zest to meals was piling on the CHEESE.

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But I definitely had a thing for green peppers and cilantro.

When I first had Mexican, Indian or other spicy food, I generally stayed away from the salsas, assuming they’d be too hot.

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(They usually were.)

People would meet my dislike for spicy food with, “But aren’t you Latina?”

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I know, I know. I’m supposed to be super spicy and crafted out of jalapeños. Sorry to disappoint!

In high school, I started exploring Tabasco and Sriracha along with my friends…

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I became all about hot wings, and thought, “This isn’t bad!”

And then, I met Cholula and Tapatío.

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It was just perfect for my unaccustomed taste buds.

I became that person that carries hot sauce with them everywhere.

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No shame.

On my next trips to South America, I always had to ask for hot sauce.

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…Which was usually sitting on some forgotten table, looking untouched for at least two years.

But the ají was usually jus cilantro, garlic and lime.

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Although, that little aji for empanadas DID have a kick.

My family found it very important to tell everyone, “she puts hot sauce on everything!”

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She was so proud.

However, I do recognize my limits…

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Like when my doctor said I should actually cut back, so… I stocked up on the Tums.

And although I still love the food I traditionally grew up with…

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Nothing beats it.

A little drop of salsita doesn’t hurt, right?

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Never.


READ: Misconception: Not All Latinos Can Handle Spicy Food And Here’s Why

Did you grow up not liking spicy and now can’t get enough of it? Which Latino dishes do you think are better with spice? Let us know!

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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