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!

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

Things That Matter

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

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Black and Afro-Latino businesses are crucial to the growth of wealth within their communities. Latinas are the fastest-growing population of entrepreneurs. Here is a list of Black and Afro-Latino businesses you can support to help build them up.

Cafe Con Libros

Cafe Con Libros is a feminist bookstore and coffee shop serving the Brooklyn area with conversations about things that matter to the community. Though they are closed because of COVID-19, there are several ways you can continue to support the bookstore.

Azteca Negra

Azteca Negra is a textile, jewelry, and accessories line that is all about being culturally conscious. Marisol Catchings, the artist behind Azteca Negra, is a Black/Chicana artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Catchings also aims at recycling by reusing resources to create her products.

Kimpande Jewelry

Kimpande Jewelry is telling the history of African life and people in Puerto Rico. Eduardo Paz, the designer of the products, wanted to highlight the different African cultures brought to Puerto Rico during the slave trade. The brand is all about buying a piece of history with every piece of jewelry.

Marisel Herbal Bath & Body

Based in Puerto Rico, Marisel Herbal Bath & Body is giving people herbal and natural alternatives to the bath and body products on the market. The store, which has been dealing with the COVID-19 lockdowns, is slowly coming back to life and is offering to ship orders to customers.

Ankhari Crochet

There is something so fun about crochet. It might be that it makes us think about the vintage clothing that we have seen in our parents’ photos. It is fun, stylish, and the colors really giving us some life right now.

Ashanti Headwraps

If you are looking for some new and fun headwraps, this is the place to check out. The brand has stores in Puerto Rico and New York and the stores offer up some beautifully crafted headwraps that anyone can wear.

Pensar Africa

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Fatima – in traceable, ethically made Swag 😷😍💚 . . . Matching mask, Fanny pack and Headwrap available by custom order. DM for more information ℹ️ . . Prevention is better than cure 🦠 😷 . . Local Puerto Rican designer Sanel @disenador_sanelrivera and Pensar Africa have worked together to produced these beautiful masks to protect yourself and others from the spread of Corona Virus – best protection and prevention is to observe social distancing by staying at home but if you need to go out CDC recommends wearing a mask with two layers of tightly woven 100 percent cotton fabric. . . We have created these beautiful reversible, washable mask using high tread count pure Tanzanian 🇹🇿 cotton fabric with pellon interfacing in between for a filter. It also has a pocket to add additional filter if you choose to do so. . . Limited quantity and available in San Juan for drive through pickup only and shipped worldwide 🌍 🌎 . These masks have been disinfected, aired out, packed and ready to go. . . Fanny pack in collaboration with @jashbags . . #facetimephotoshoot with @jorlyfloress #Teamwork #togetherwecan #socialdistancing #coronavirus #protection #protectionisbetterthancure #cdcrecommendation #wearamask #stayathome #coronachronicles #protectivestyles #pensarafrica #sanelriveradiseñador #mask #facemask #santurce #sanjuan #sanjuanpuertorico #puertorico #africanprint #africanfabric #kitenge #ankaramask #africanprintmasks #afroboricua #afrolatina

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Pensar Africa is more than a place to buy things, it is a place to empower African creators. According to the website, Pensar Africa’s mission is to bring African goods to the Americas while providing the creators the opportunity to make money off of their products.

The Salvi Vegan

This food blogger is showing how you can take your favorite Salvadoran dishes and make them vegan. It is a nice reminder that not all support has to cost something. Some times you just have to show support to help those in the community attract opportunities that come with money.

Party Shop Avenue

This is one company we should keep in mind after this is all over. Who doesn’t want a nice balloon structure at their party? These are truly some beautiful pieces of art that you can use to celebrate just about anything.

READ: This Boricua Is Bringing An Indie Bookstore To Her Neighborhood Of 1.4 Million

Nonprofit United We Dream Is Crowdsourcing Immigrant Recipes For A Fundraising Cookbook

Culture

Nonprofit United We Dream Is Crowdsourcing Immigrant Recipes For A Fundraising Cookbook

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During the COVID-19 lockdowns, people have spent a lot of time in their kitchens cooking food to bring them comfort. One unique thing about the self-isolation is that people are having to figure out how to make things stretch or substitute some of your usual ingredients. United We Dream wants to make sure they can do something good with all of the recipes we have created.

United We Dream wants to use your recipes to create some good.

According to an Instagram post, United We Dream is putting together an undocumented cookbook. In the spirit of sharing recipes and cultural moments, United We Dream is asking for people to submit their recipes.

“At United We Dream we believe in the power of art and culture to change hearts and minds and June is the perfect time to tap into our cultural creativity,” reads the United We Dream website. “On Immigrant Heritage Month, we want to celebrate our community through a joyous art form that every household does: cooking!”

The money is going to be used to help the undocumented and immigrant communities.

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According to Remezcla, 100 percent of profits from the book will go to the organization’s National UndocuFunds. United We Dream launched the National UndocuFund to deliver financial assistance to undocumented people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is likely that the fund will need to do some extra lifting to help communities recovering from recent looting and rioting that has rocked the U.S. in recent days.

“We know that nothing brings people together quite like food,” reads the United We Dream website. “The dishes that immigrants create, no matter how simple or complex, allow people to experience cultures other than one’s own and all the joys and pleasures that come with it.”

The cookbook is already getting people excited.

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There is something to be said about people getting creative in the kitchen during this pandemic. Outings are limited because we are all staying home to slow the spread. There are also people who are still not at work. That is why we have had to get creative to make our food last.

“Today, times are tough because of COVID-19, but many working-class and poor households are embracing their creativity to create meals that both sustain their households and bring a moment of peace and comfort,” reads the United We Dream website. “We want to create a cookbook that reflects our diverse community and inspires memories of joy, comfort and togetherness!”

United We Dream understands the power of food.

Food is a unifier. Everyone eats and food is one way to connect with your culture. It is also a wonderful way to share your culture with other people. Sharing your food and culture with people is a special way to let your friends into your life.

The organization is still taking recipe suggestions. If you want a chance to give more people a look into who you are and your culture through food, click here to share a recipe.

READ: Colorado Organization Raises Money To Offer Relief Checks To Undocumented People In The State