Culture

These Fast Food Items That Are Only Available In Latin America Will Give You Some Serious Food Envy

Fast food is key to contemporary societies. Some people see fast food chains, the majority of which are originally from the United States, as a sign of cultural imperialism, an unstoppable force that just feeds on greed and crushes local industries and culinary cultures. The recently deceased Mexican painter Francisco Toledo, for example, fought and won the battle of stopping McDonald’s from opening a branch in the main square of the city of Oaxaca. 

Critics see fast food as a way in which companies want to set an standarized way of living. Companies like McDonald’s, Burger King or Starbucks have expanded worldwide. However, fast food also provides a sense of comfort, of feeling at home basically anywhere in the world. 

Well, one of the expansion strategies used by fast food chains is offering products that appeal to the local taste. Menus in different countries offer surprising options that make locals feel cared for and help visitors discover something new while being in a familiar place. These are some of the dishes that you can only find in Latin America. 

If you know what queso panela is you will drool at this Starbucks sandwich.

Credit: Twitter. @StarbucksMexico

Queso panela is a delicious Mexican cheese that can be grilled and is similar to Turkish varieties brought by the Spanish conquerors (in fact, many staples of Mexican cuisine have a Middle Eastern origin). If you are on a diet and just can’t let go of cheese, then chances are that this is a must-have in your fridge. This sandwich looks so homemade that we just want to curl in one of those big Starbucks chairs and eat it. 

Because Colombians are just a little bit fancy…

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsColombia

Yum! Colombians can be very sophisticated when it comes to food and this delicious burger is proof of it. It has melted cheese and prosciutto, aka fancy ham. And this burger was created for a good cause: part of the proceedings went to a charity that provides accommodation for children in need. Delicious and morally satisfying. 

Because you can’t have a restaurant in Venezuela and not sell arepas.

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsVenezuela

McMuffins are a staple of McDonald’s breakfasts worldwide, but of course the fast food giant had to offer traditional arepas in its Venezuelan branches. 

Yuquitas are available in Venezuela, but there is a sad story behind it.

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsVenezuela

Due to food scarcity in the South American country, McDonald’s stopped selling French fries in some locations and replaced them with Yuquitas, made out of Yucca plants. Yucca does bring some health benefits, though, and provides relief for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine (colitis), high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, poor circulation, and liver and gallbladder disorders. 

McDonald’s offers one of the staples of Mexican breakfast: molletes!

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsMexico

Molletes are almost as popular as chilaquiles (the delicious concoction of fried tortilla triangles, authentic salsa, cream and cheese). Molletes are basically a piece of bread, traditionally a bolillo, with refried beans and melted cheese on top. The cereza en el pastel is a touch of pico de gallo or the hot sauce of your liking. The McDonald’s version is a bit meh. It uses a sort of English muffin instead of a crunchy, fluffy bolillo

And apparently you can also get molletes with no frijoles! That is like our worst fast food nightmare ever.

Credit: Twitter. @YurithKat

This poor woman must have had the worst beginning of her day ever. A mollete with no beans is like a burger with no meat (or veggie patty for those who prefer them). Definitely one of the worst ways to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, metaphorically speaking. 

And Burger King Mexico no se queda atrás: burritos a la mexicana.

Credit: Burger King Mexico

Yes, you can get breakfast burritos in the United States, but this version is only available in Mexico and is made a la mexicana, which basically means that it has freshly chopped tomato, green chili and onion. It is a great morning pick me up and can help greatly with la cruda. 

For a Boricua taste, a Monchi Burger.

Credit: McDonald’s Puerto Rico

Launched in April this year and for a limited time, this new hamburger was prepared with sweet and light Mallorca bread. It was available in two versions: beef or chicken, and comes with fresh lettuce, tomato, cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise. Yum. 

And of course Burger King has a classic churrasquito in Argentina!

Credit: Burger King Argentina

Argentinians love their meat, but they also love their thick, crunchy bread (the kind that makes your jaws ache after you eat a whole sandwich). It is no surprise that Burger King introduced a churrasquito in its menu. Layer upon layer of fatty, delicious animal products (not suitable for vegans, obvs). 

A Starbucks Barista Labeled A Cop’s Order With The Word ‘Pig’, The Officer’s Daughter Says It’s Accurate

Things That Matter

A Starbucks Barista Labeled A Cop’s Order With The Word ‘Pig’, The Officer’s Daughter Says It’s Accurate

Starbucks

Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O’Mara, in Oklahoma, claimed Starbucks gave one of his officers a drink with the word “PIG” written on the label. Now someone alleging to be his daughter is saying that O’Mara is, in fact, a pig. The woman on social media who goes by @MissOMara says her father was a proud racist when she was growing up and should never have become a police officer. 

The incident began when O’Mara shared that five of the drinks he and his officers received had “PIG” printed on the labels. The police chief believed the event to be symptomatic of a larger culture that has adopted anti-law enforcement attitudes. Well, it appears his own daughter believes the sentiment is well-earned if her father is representative of the police. 

O’Mara’s own daughter calls him a pig on Twitter.

“This is my father and I’d like to say that he is absolutely a pig and I’d like to thank the brave men and women from Starbucks for their service,” she shared on Twitter. 

Her dismay did not end there, she elaborated on just why she felt her father was the true personification of swine.

“For the record, my father has 0 business being a police officer. He was blatantly, proudly racist when I was a kid. Said things I would never repeat,” O’Mara’s daughter said in another tweet. “He treats women like dogs, including his own daughter. Oink oink.”

The woman also claimed that others in the department were not as offended by the comment on the Starbucks cups. 

“The deputy it actually happened to told my mom he didn’t really care and that it was a harmless joke, no big deal,” she said. “But my father is a camera whore who couldn’t resist the attention.”

O’Mara’s daughter’s tweets were retweeted almost 90,000 times. She later tweeted that O’Mara notified her mother and urged her to delete the tweets. She still has not deleted the tweets in question. 

Many people shared their support of O’Mara’s comments, while Starbucks sided with the police chief. 

“My dad was the same! He used to brag about how good he was at covering bullet holes in the walls and nobody ever did anything because who’s going to call the cops on a cop?” One user wrote in response. “Eventually, he pulled his gun on the wrong person and, thankfully, got fired.”

The Starbucks barista has since been fired and the employee who made the labels called and apologized to the officer. When O’Mara heard the news he asked Starbucks to reconsider, instead calling for “civility.” 

“This is absolutely unacceptable, and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this. We have also apologized directly to him and are working to connect with the police chief as well to express our remorse,” Starbucks spokesperson Jory Mendes told News on 6. “This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work to keep our communities safe” 

The incident garnered national attention when O’Mara blasted the barista in a Facebook post. 

O’Mara’s polarizing Facebook rant, which has since been deleted, caused a national stir. 

“What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town,” the chief wrote on Facebook. O’Mara claimed to be doing a thankless job where people viewed him as being a villain for doing “what’s right.”

“This cup of coffee for a ‘pig’ is just another little flag. It’s another tiny symptom and a nearly indiscernible shout from a contemptuous, roaring and riotous segment of a misanthropic society that vilifies those who stand for what’s right and glorifies the very people who would usher in the destruction of the social fabric. It’s another tiny pinprick into the heart of men and women who are asking themselves more often: ‘Why am I doing this?'” O’Mara wrote.

In the wake of the incident, Starbucks claims it will work with law enforcement to promote “understanding and respect” between the parties. Meanwhile, the police department says it will host a “Coffee with a Cop” event at Starbucks where community members can engage with officers in a safe space.

While it is unclear if O’Mara’s daughter’s claims are true, the story solidifies the ever-growing contentious relationship between law enforcement and civilians as revelations of police brutality, corruption, and abuse of power pervade the national conversation. 

Four New Shows From Latin America Will Soon Be On HBO And Here Are The Ones We’re Most Excited About

Entertainment

Four New Shows From Latin America Will Soon Be On HBO And Here Are The Ones We’re Most Excited About

Entre Hombres / HBO

HBO has decided to expand its Latin American catalog by adding four new shows aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences. The new programs all seem to vary in subject matter with some focusing on LGBTQ issues and others on criminal underbellies or counter-terrorism. The slate will launch in conjunction with six new English-speaking series on the network. 

 “[2020] will be a year in which we will concentrate even more on subscribers’ experiences with the brand, especially in the digital environment,” Gustavo Grossman, vice president of HBO Latin America, told the Digital Weekly

According to Variety, the company decided to continue to broaden the scope of their Latin American content due to a hit Colombian documentary it produced called Guerras Ajenas, along with a recent International Emmy winner for the scripted series Sr. Avila

So here’s what you can look forward to in the new year. 

Entre Hombres

Entre Hombres is a 4-episode mini-series based on the novel by Argentinian author Germán Maggiori. The story takes place in 1996 in Buenos Aires and will center around a senator who covers up a murder during a time of great social division. The show will star Gabriel ‘El Puma’ Goity, Nicolás Furtado, Diego Velázquez, Diego Cremonesi and Claudio Rissi.

“At HBO we continue betting on good stories. In this sense, Argentina has always been a source of talent and inspiration for our productions. Entre Hombres is a visceral piece and we are very proud with this new project that will enable us to take this magnificent cult novel to a big audience on the screen of HBO,” said Roberto Ríos, VP Corporate Original Production at HBO Latin America.

The production will be made in collaboration with Pol-ka and the series will be directed by Pablo Fendrik who previously directed El Jardin de Bronce. Author Maggiori will adapt the book for television. 

Mil Colmillos

HBO will launch its first show in Colombia Mil Colmillos in partnership with Rhayuela Films. The series will focus on a military mission to thwart a rogue squad roaming the Colombian jungles. The popular director of suspense thrillers, like El Paramo and Siete Cabezas will co-direct with Pablo Gonzale. 

They will film eight one-hour episodes in various locations in Colombia including Bogota and the Amazon jungle, according to Variety. The series will have a high production value, indicating HBO is willing to invest in Latin American content to broaden its audience. 

Todxs Nosotrxs

The new HBO series set in Brazil will follow Rafa, an 18-year-old non-binary person who is pansexual. Rafa decides to leave their family and move to Sao Paulo. Claro Gallo will portray Rafa and star alongside Kelner Macedo, Juliana Gerais, and Golda Nomacce. 

Patria

The series adapted from Spanish author Fernando Aramburu’s novel Patria is technically an HBO Europe production, but is still aimed at Spanish-speaking audience nonetheless. The series will be eight parts and written by Aitor Gabilondo and directed by Venice-winning Pablo Trapero and Goya-winning Félix Viscarret.

Set in Spanish Basque County the story will span over thirty years, following two families divided by the separatist terrorism of ETA. It will center around Bittori whose husband is murdered by ETA and her friendship with Miren, whose son is a member of the ETA. 

“I’ve dedicated almost a year to adapt Patria for TV. Now, it’s time to bring these characters to life and recreate the painful past reflected in this work of fiction. That the wounds of this recent history are still open in the Basque Country fuels my commitment and forces me to sharpen my sensibility,” said writer Gabilondo.

Antony Root, EVP of Original Programming and Production, HBO Europe told Deadline that he believed that while the story may take place during a specific political backdrop it is largely a universal one. 

“A personal, human story that unfolds against the backdrop of political violence in the Basque country, and which explores themes of grief, community and forgiveness, Patria is at once acutely local and affectingly universal,” Root said. “That we have such an outstanding creative team to bring it to life is testament to our ambition for the series, and its appeal to both Spanish and international audiences.  It is the perfect project to kick-off HBO Europe’s drama slate in Spain.”

The series began shooting in Northern Span this year and like the other series will premiere in 2020, though no premiere dates have been set yet. 

“Luckily, HBO has enabled me to be surrounded by an exceptional technical and artistic crew who share the same commitment. To me, Patria is not only the challenge of adapting a powerful and moving novel that has reached readers all over the world. It’s also a personal journey which, through these characters, takes me back to the toughest years of ETA that made such an impact on my youth,” Gabilondo.