Culture

Watch This Pastry Chef As She Almost Goes Crazy Trying to Make Takis At Home

The Bon Appetit Youtube series “Gourmet Makes” has gained quite the cult-following for its entertaining videos that follow a pastry chef, Claire Saffitz, as she tries to recreate popular junk and snack foods with higher quality ingredients. While usually Saffitz focuses on popular American foods like Oreos and Pringles, this time around, the Bon Appetit team decided to take their series in a more international direction. The latest snack food of choice? Takis!

Takis may not be for everyone, but for those who have grown up with them, they’re a delicious reminder of barbecues, family get-togethers and the joys of mindless snacking. Although the easiest way to experience a Taki is by buying a bag yourself, the snack food is best described as a small, taquito-shaped crunchy snack that packs a flavor that is reminiscent of both Hot Cheetos and Doritos.Made by Mexican snacking giant Barcel, the chip product is a staple among Mexican and Latinx families the world over. 

So for “Gourmet Makes” fans of Latinx descent, Saffitz’s decision to try her hand at re-making Takis was an exciting event.

Gourmet makes videos are usually composed of four parts. The initial description of the food, the reading of the ingredients, the exhaustive trial-and-error experimentation in the kitchen, and the final, communal taste test that is conducted by Saffitz and her fellow Bon Appetit chefs. And while the above steps may seem simple enough, the final gourmet snack product is usually days-in-the-making, with Saffitz anguishing over every ingredient and every step in its assembly.

Usually, a ton of preparation goes into the recipe-testing for gourmet makes, and this time was no different. Not only does Saffitz measure and weigh each individual Taki to make sure her creation is as similar as possible, but she also dunks a Taki in water in order to “hydrate and soften” the chip to “get a general sense of the shape”.

Although Takis are a popular Latino snack, most of the staff in the Bon Appetit test kitchen have never heard of the cult-favorite food.

After a chorus of “I’ve never actually had Takis” and “What the f*** is this?” from the staff at the BA test kitchen, Saffitz spends the better part of ten minutes researching and learning about the snack food. At one point, she even watches the viral video “Hot Cheetos & Takis” by the Y.N Rich Kids.

This time, Saffitz started her journey by reading out an exhaustive list of Takis ingredients (a reading that will possibly make you swear-off the ultra-processed food forever). After that, Saffitz gets to work assembling the Mexican chip. 

Screenshot via Youtube/ Bon Appetit

First,  Saffitz begins by mixing the spices that make up Takis’ signature spicy-sour-bold flavor. Then, she creates the dough with corn flour and vegetable oil, flattening the dough in a sizzle platter. Then, she rolls the dough onto tiny skewers and bakes them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. After they bake, she deep fries them in vegetable oil until they are crisp. For the final step, she tosses the tiny taquitos in her homemade blend of spices. 

And voila! The homemade Taki is born.

Screenshot via Youtube/ Bon Appetit

After three days of intense work, Claire Safftiz has made her very own version of Gringo Takis (which she at one point describes as looking like a “mini canoli”…sigh), and she’s ready to share her creation with the entire Bon Appetit team. We know that the experiment was successful by the first taste-tester who says “It’s just like, almost too much and then you’re like, okay one more!”. And that’s how you know you’re eating a real Taki. Nice work, Claire!

If you ever needed more evidence that Takis are the perfect snack food, you only need to head over to Twitter to find people waxing poetic about these tasty chips.

It’s crazy to think that no one in the Bon Appetit test kitchen has ever tasted a Taki before. We’re glad they’ve finally seen the light.

This person poses an extremely important question about how to responsibly incorporate as many Takis as possible into a balanced diet:

We’re still waiting on an answer to this one.

This person made an on-point observation about the joy Takis bring to life:

If happiness is currently off the table, then Takis are a close second.

This person made a very creative enchiladas dish where the main ingredient was Takis:

Get this person their own Food Network show, stat!

This teacher just became 100% cooler in the eyes of his students:

His “Teacher of the Year” award is in the mail as we speak.

Does Anybody Really Know What’s Supposed To Happen After You Get The Baby Jesus Figurine In La Rosca De Reyes?

Culture

Does Anybody Really Know What’s Supposed To Happen After You Get The Baby Jesus Figurine In La Rosca De Reyes?

alejandro.munoz.p / Instagram

Remember Día de Reyes when everyone cuts the rosca and hopes to god not to get the little niño Jesus? If you grew up Mexican, you probably know that whoever gets the baby Jesus figurine owes everyone tamales. But when is the tamal party? And most importantly—why? Keep reading to find out what El Día de la Candelaria means, what your abuelitas and tías are actually celebrating and how it originated —spoiler alert: it’s colonization.

February 2nd may be Groundhog Day in the United States, but in Mexico, and for many Latinos outside of Mexico, there is a completely different celebration on this date.

The religious holiday is known as Día de la Candelaria (or Candlemas in English). And on this day of the year, people get together with family and friends to eat tamales, as a continuation of the festivities of Three Kings’ Day on January 6. 

This is why your abuelita dresses up her niño Jesús in extravagant outfits.

For Día de la Candelaria it’s customary for celebrants to dress up figures of the Christ Child in special outfits and take them to the church to be blessed. Día de la Candelaria is traditionally a religious and family celebration, but in some places, such as Tlacotalpan, in the state of Veracruz, it is a major fiesta with fairs and parades.

February 2nd is exactly forty days after Christmas and is celebrated by the Catholic church as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.

Alternatively, this day also counts as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The origin of this religious feast day comes from ancient Jewish tradition. According to Jewish law, a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth, and it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. So the idea is that Mary and Joseph would have taken Jesus to the temple to be blessed on February second, forty days after his birth on December 25.

The tradition goes back to around the 11th Century in Europe.

People typically took candles to the church to be blessed as part of the celebration. This tradition was based on the biblical passage of Luke 2:22-39 which recounts how when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, a particularly devout man named Simeon embraced the child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” The reference to the light inspired the celebration of the blessing of the candles.

In Mexico Día de la Candelaria is a follow-up to the festivities of Three Kings Day on January 6th.

On Día De Reyes, when children receive gifts, families and friends gather together to eat Rosca de Reyes, a special sweet bread with figurines of a baby (representing the Child Jesus) hidden inside. The person (or people) who received the figurines on Three Kings Day are supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are the food of choice.

This tradition also carries Pre-Hispanic roots.

After the Spanish conquistadors introduced the Catholic religion and masked indigenous traditions with their own, to help spread evangelization, many villagers picked up the tradition of taking their corn to the church in order to get their crops blessed after planting their seeds for the new agricultural cycle that was starting. They did this on February 2, which was the eleventh day of the first month on the Aztec calendar —which coincidentally fell on the same day as the Candelaria celebration. It’s believed that this is why, to this day, the celebratory feast on February 2 is all corn-based —atole and tamales.

This date is special for other reasons too… 

February 2, marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which aligns with the pagan holiday of Imbolc. Since ancient times, this date was thought to be a marker or predictor of the weather to come, which is why it is also celebrated as Groundhog Day in the United States. There was an old English saying that went “if Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again.” In many places, this is traditionally seen as the best time to prepare the earth for spring planting.

In Perú the Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno and it is one of the biggest festivals of culture, music, and dancing in the country.

The huge festival brings together the Catholic faith and Andean religion in homage to the Virgin of Candelaria. The Virgin represents fertility and purity. She is the patron saint of the city and is strongly associated with the Andean deity of ‘Pachamama’ (‘mother earth’). It is this common factor of both religions that brings them together for the festival. In 2014, UNESCO declared the festival an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The main dates of ‘Fiesta de la Candelaria’ are February 2nd – 12th.

El Chapo’s Daughter Is Using His Name And Face to Launch A Beer Brand After She Launched A Fashion Line

Culture

El Chapo’s Daughter Is Using His Name And Face to Launch A Beer Brand After She Launched A Fashion Line

elchapo701 / Instagram

It seems like everybody today is trying to get in on the alcohol business. Whether it’s The Rock with a new tequila brand or Ryan Reynolds buying a gin company, it seems to be all the rage right now that even “El Chapo” is getting his own line of beers. 

Say hello to the “El Chapo 701” brand run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s daughter Alejandrina Guzman Salazar, who also is behind a fashion and lifestyle company built around her jailed father’s brand. The new line of beer, called El Chapo Mexican Lager, was unveiled for the first time to the public on Jan. 14 at a fashion trade show in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

“It hasn’t been released for sale to the public yet. I just brought some to display,” spokeswoman Adriana Ituarte told AFP, as the beer line is currently still waiting on government approval to sell beer in Mexico. The alcohol displayed at the trade showed brown, black and white labeled craft beer bottles with the Sinaloa cartel leader’s infamous mustache face adorned on them. 

Alejandrina Guzman Salazar’s company is banking on the idea that people will want to buy craft beer, labeled and named after her infamous father, at bars and markets in Mexico. 

Beer lovers won’t have to break the bank either when it comes to purchasing the new line of beer which comes in at 70.10 pesos, or about $3.73, for a 355 ml bottle. There is also the name of the brand, “El Chapo 701” which has an interesting meaning behind it. The “701” is a reference to El Chapo’s place on the 2009 list of the world’s richest persons from Forbes magazine (estimated at $1 billion). 

The “El Chapo” beer is expected to have a large fan base due to the notoriety of the imprisoned drug cartel leader and a growing market for collectible celebrity alcoholic beverages like these. The company is hoping that, besides just the name and branding of the beer, fans will actually enjoy the drink and keep coming back to it.

“I don’t know if we take the label off and the beer is good if it’s going to sell,’  Ituarte told the Daily Mail. “But obviously the brand gives the plus of sale, we continue with the idea that we are selling and as long as the product is good, people buy it and like it.”

Ituarte said at the trade show that the product will be sold at bars throughout Mexico that also sell stock craft beer, a market that has flourished in Mexico City in recent years due to the growth of microbreweries. The lager was produced by La Chingonería, a Mexico City-based brewery company. 

“This is an artisanal beer, with 4 percent alcohol. This prototype is a lager, and it’s made up of malt, rice, and honey so it’s good,” Ituarte told Daily Mail. “And the idea is for it to be sold at bars that stock craft beer.”

This is not the first time that “El Chapo” has seen his name being cashed in on by his family. There has been a clothing and accessories line made in tribute of Guzman.

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@granexpoventa @lalalaladyboss701 @tulum

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Salazar’s company has already cashed in on her father’s name with a line of T items such as t-shirts, belts, purses, and jackets all adorned with imagery of Guzman and the 701 logo. The brand has been quite successful in under a year of going public which shows the power of “El Chapo’s” name. 

Salazar isn’t the only one getting in on the drug lord’s name. Last March Guzmán’s wife, Emma Coronel, launched a fashion and leisurewear line, licensed by her husband. “I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago,” Coronel told CNN in a statement at the time of the launch. “It is a project dedicated to our daughters.”

These dedicated “El Chapo” brands show the notoriety and the power of his name when it comes to marketing. If this new beer line is anything like the clothing and accessories already released under his name, there is sure to be a market for this too. 

Guzman is currently serving a life sentence at a supermax prison in Colorado after being convicted on drug trafficking and weapons charges in 2019. El Chapo was forced to forfeit $12.6 billion as part of his punishment.

READ: California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards