Culture

Someone Made A Scented Candle That Smells Exactly Like Cuban Bread And It’s Taking Me Back To My Abuela’s Kitchen

Anyone blessed enough to have ever encountered the sweet and yeasty scent of Cuban bread knows that it is incomparable. Heavenly, really. That’s right, a good whiff of a simple loaf of fresh-baked pan cubano can go a long way in not only uplifting your mood but inspiring the greatest. Need proof? Just go to your local bodega and hit up the man behind the counter for an order of a Cubano or Elena Ruz. Cuban bread outfits them both, and both are classic sandwiches that will dance along your tongue’s memory for a lifetime.

Candlemaker Isabel Alvarez knows the beauty of the bread’s mouthwatering scent, so much so that she has captured it and put into a candle. That’s right folks, you can officially replicate the smell of Cuban bread in your home, without even opening up your oven.

Alvarez’s candle is supposed to smell like the real deal.

“You literally can smell the salty butter, the yeasty dough. It’s literally that savory aroma,” Alvarez said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “You can practically taste the crackling crust, the warm dough inside. It’s a trip.”

Alvarez, 47, has been getting requests from all over America, including Miami since her sister posted a photo of her candle online. She tagged Cuban-culture influencers My Big Fat Cuban Family, with its 59,000 Facebook followers, and Abuela Mami, the Miami online store which ships care packages of Cuban food.

Soon she was fielding inquiries from Miami to Seattle to Minnesota, where one customer told her she couldn’t buy Cuban bread; the least she could do was enjoy the scent.

“The reaction we’ve had from the Cuban community all over the country has been overwhelming,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez says her idea to create the candle came from her sister Elena Moore.

Five years ago, Alvarez started making candles when she realized she wanted one that was vanilla scented but not white. She thought green would do better. Soon enough she began selling her aromatic candles to friends and shows. Then, her sister asked her to create a special candle just for her wedding. Moore called the scent Havana Nights, one Alvarez says “smells like a sexy Cuban man.”

Then, Alvarez decided to create a few more Cuban-inspired candles. She created one inspired by her mother’s hometown Tinguaro. And then, one day while having café con leche with Cuban bread she was inspired to make the bread candle.

“I thought, ‘What else is the essence of Cuba? Cuban bread. It had to be’,” Alvarez explained to Miami Herald. “It could be breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack. It’s so immersed in our Cuban life.”

Alvarez’s Cuban candles are currently out on her company’s website, AlbisaCandles.com. But they are expected to be back and sold for $28. In the meantime, our memories of Cuban bread and the real food will have to tide us over!

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A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

Culture

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

UTSA

The University of Texas San Antonio is bringing the history of Mexico into our kitchens. The university is releasing cookbooks that are collections of historic Mexican recipes. Right now, the desserts book is out and online for free. Main dishes and appetizers/drinks are coming soon.

You can now taste historic Mexico thanks to the University of Texas San Antonio.

UTSA has had an ongoing project of preserving, collecting, and digitizing cookbooks from throughout Mexico’s history. Some books date back to the 1700s and offer a look into Mexico’s culinary arts and its evolution.

UTSA has been digitizing Mexican cookbooks for years and the work is now being collected for people in the time of Covid.

Millions of us are still at home and projects like these can be very exciting and exactly what you need. The recipes are a way to distract yourself from the current reality.

“The e-pubs allow home cooks to use the recipes as inspiration in their own kitchens,” Dean Hendrix, the dean of UTSA Libraries, said in UTSA Today. “Our hope is that many more people will not only have access to these wonderful recipes but also interact with them and experience the rich culture and history contained in the collection.”

The free downloads are a way for people to get a very in-depth look into Mexican food history.

The first of three volumes of the cookbooks focuses on desserts so you can learn how to make churros, chestnut flan, buñelos, and rice pudding. What better way to spend your quarantine than learning how to make some of these yummy desserts. We all love sweets, right?

If you want to get better with making your favorite desserts, check out this cookbook and make it happen.

There is nothing better than diving into your history and using food as your guide. Food is so intrinsically engrained in our DNAs and identities. We love the foods and sweets from our childhood because they hold a clue as to who we are and where we come from. This historical collection of recipes throughout history is the perfect way to make that happen.

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

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People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

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