food and drink

Even The Monsters At Halloween Horror Nights Understand The Necessity Of Vegan Food

If you’re vegan or just a general foodie, you’re probably already thinking and obsessing about what you’re going to eat for dinner ten days from now. No question, if you’re going to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, you’re stressin‘, like your mami taught you. Like, will there be frijoles? Will they be vegan?

Hunnies, we got you covered. Here’s what we know about the “Stranger Things” themed throw down and all the vegan food and drinks at your bruja finger tips.

Let’s start with the alcohol:

CREDIT: “horror nights 2018” Digital Image. Inside The Magic. 7 October 2018.

You grew up Latino so you’re already anxious at a baseline thanks to life being like a trip to Halloween Horror Nights. You never know when a chancla is about to be thrown your way.

Have a “Wicked Rad Punch” to take the edge off. It’s made of blueberry vodka, raspberry vodka, triple sec, lemonade and grenadine.

Totally L.I.T.

CREDIT: “horror nights 2018” Digital Image. Inside The Magic. 7 October 2018.

HHN is rebranding the Long Island Iced Tea as “Totally L.I.T.” and it’s modern-day accurate. A combo of vodka, tequila, gin, rum with triple sec, lime, sour and Coca-Cola will have you laughing in ghouls’ faces.

Or have a “Gnarly Twist”

CREDIT: “horror nights 2018” Digital Image. Inside The Magic. 7 October 2018.

Did you notice the plastic divider down the middle of the cup? That’s so that you can get half “L.I.T.” and half Wicked Rad and have a sweet and sour combo of the two. Don’t worry, it comes with a straw that let’s you dip into both flavors.

Need café?

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

Well, I’m not sure if Starbucks truly counts as café, but it’s nearby and you can get the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino vegan if you ask for it with nondairy milk and no whip. You can look spooky with your black ice cream milkshake.

Get yourself a Duff beer.

CREDIT: @thischarmingman82 / Instagram

You freakin’ deserve it. When you’re starting to feel a little too stressed, a trip to Springfield (a.k.a. Simpson Land) will help you wind down. Especially with a dry ice accented Duff beer.

Get more spooky at Hogsmeade!

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

That’s right. The pumpkin juice is vegan (and it should be). The only thing to be wary of is butterbeer, which is loaded up with dairy. The pumpkin juice though is a close second.

While you’re at the Three Broomsticks…

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

Rumor has it that the asparagus plate (requested vegan) is the best thing on the menu, especially with a cup of pumpkin juice on ice.

 If you’re still hungry (no judgement)…

CREDIT: @llexiumm / Instagram

You can also get the baked breakfast beans, potatoes and corn on the cub (sans mantequilla). Thank you, J.K. Rowling.

Snow Monster for your sweet thirst needs.

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

City Walk is the greatest gift to vegans. Find Snow Monster on City Walk Hollywood and get the Vegan Thai Iced Tea. Yes, it comes with cotton candy.

 Demogorgon’s Totcho tater tot bliss is everything.

CREDIT: “horror nights 2018” Digital Image. Inside The Magic. 7 October 2018.

We’re not going to lie to you. Universal’s HHN offerings are largely chicken and waffles, an ode to Eleven. That said, Demogorgon’s Totcho seems promising. It’s a twist on the classic nacho with piles of tater tots covered in spicy queso, chili, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, sour cream and scallions. Try asking for it with no queso or sour cream and we bet it’s veganized!

Pizza Fries

CREDIT: “horror nights 2018” Digital Image. Inside The Magic. 7 October 2018.

Apparently, this is a KidZone offering, but we bet if you ask for it without the cheese and pepperoni, you’ll have your hands on a hot plate of crispy fries.

Pink’s Hot Dog has a secret vegan dog off-menu.

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

This has only been confirmed at the Hollywood CityWalk. Orlando people, can you confirm? Remember, you won’t see it on the menu so don’t get discouraged.

Blaze Pizzas everywhere will save you.

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

This isn’t just at HHN. Well, it actually isn’t at all. You’ll find this on CityWalk, but every Blaze Pizza in the country now offers Daiya cheese, so you can get fast food vegan pizza. It’s 2018 and some things have to work in our favor.

Don’t pass on Johnny Rockets.

CREDIT: @beets.motel / Instagram

I know. When your crew wants to go somewhere that you know isn’t going to be vegan friendly, you’re a kill joy. Johnny Rockets is changing the narrative for ya. Get yourself the Streamliner Burger and fries.

Speaking of fries…

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

You can get vegan fries at Cletus’ Chicken Shack, Gru’s Lab Café, Hollywood & Dine, Krusty Burger, Mel’s Diner, Jurassic Café, Camacho’s Cantina and so much more.

While you’re at Camacho’s, get yourself some vegetable fajitas (no cheese) and tostadas de nopales.

Fusion Bistro Sushi Sake

CREDIT: @universalorlandovegans / Instagram

Orlando folks, you’ve got yourself what looks like a delish Japanese option on CityWalk. There’s nothing better than getting out of the park, slumping in a seat and enjoying some lite fare.

Life hack: some Dippin’ Dots are vegan

CREDIT: “Orange Ice” Digital Image. Dippin’ Dots. 7 October 2018.

The Halloween one (which looks like this, plus Oreos) is not vegan. The most popular vegan flavor is the rainbow option. Other vegan flavors are: Rainbow Ice, Liberty Ice, Black Ice, Sour Blue Razz, Orange Ice, Blue Raspberry Ice, Lemon Ice, Lime Ice, Strawberry Ice, Mango-Pineapple Sorbet, and Strawberry Sorbet.

Dear God, then there’s Voodoo Doughnuts.

CREDIT: “horror nights 2018” Digital Image. Inside The Magic. 7 October 2018.

If you’re vegan and you don’t already know about VooDoo, I’m shooketh. They offer both vegan and non-vegan options in all kinds of cute shapes. This HHN, their vegan offering is a gravestone. I’m about to eat my way to death on these.

Ben & Jerry’s: America’s New Vegan Safe Haven.

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

Ben & Jerry’s is available at both CityWalk locations and they are stocking all the vegan flavors. You can go get yourself an Oreo fudge banana split and be as sugar-addicted as non-vegans. #Equality

These blood pops are vegan.

CREDIT: @veganatuniversal / Instagram

If you’re a rarity and didn’t sleuth a bunch of Mexican candy and De la Rosa into the park with you, then HoneyDukes has you covered on the candy front with vegan Blood Pops!

READ: These 20 Coveted Candies Only Latinos Give Out Are Always Halloween Gold

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This Entrepreneur Worked For Years To Sell Her Authentic Mexican Sauces To The World And It Paid Off

food and drink

This Entrepreneur Worked For Years To Sell Her Authentic Mexican Sauces To The World And It Paid Off

Courtesy of Salsaology

In 2013, Lori Sandoval found herself in a tough predicament where she had to figure out what to do with her career. Fresh out of college and with plans to go to culinary school, she knew a career in food was part of her future. So she decided to pursue her passion and start a business around salsa where she could connect her Latina culture and background in cooking. Five years later, Sandoval is the proud owner of Salsaology, a line of all-natural and non-GMO cooking sauces inspired by regional Mexican flavors. The salsas reflect Sandoval’s desire to change the narrative on how Mexican products are viewed.

When Lori Sandoval first started making her salsa, she knew that she was on to something special.

credit: Salsaology
CREDIT: credit: Salsaology

Sandoval knew that if she put her background and experience into the salsas, she’d do great things with it. So she began showcasing her salsas at farmer markets. It wasn’t long until she realized this could be something bigger than a farmers market booth. She met a Whole Foods Market buyer who told Sandoval that if she could get the salsa mass produced they would carry her product in a few stores.

“I thought it would be easy to just start making them from home and go from there but I didn’t know there was so many guidelines and food standards to sell at Whole Foods,” Sandoval says. “That’s when I started looking for a manufacturer to help.”

Finding a manufacturer became one of Sandoval’s biggest challenges because of her ingredients.

She was denied by countless manufacturers that simply didn’t grasp what her product was truly about. Despite the passion she had and the success of the salsas, manufactures just didn’t understand it.

Manufacturers didn’t understand why her salsas had so many ingredients let alone their significance.

credit: Salsaology
CREDIT: credit: Salsaology

“They didn’t get it. They couldn’t understand that a salsa could have so many ingredients,” Sandoval says. “Everyone kept saying no and telling me you’re never going to sell $12 salsa.”

Sandoval says she kept having to explain to people the importance of her product and reminding them that salsa is more than just something you dip your chips in. She recalls constantly hearing stereotypical comments about Mexican food and manufacturers turning her away.

“I found myself having to defend my product and explaining that salsa means sauce.” Sandoval says.

After a year of getting her business shot down she finally got a yes from a manufacturer. However, there was one caveat — she had to get the ingredients herself. Sandoval agreed to the terms and would soon find herself driving through Los Angeles at the crack of dawn picking up ingredients in her SUV. She recalls the long mornings going from warehouse to warehouse getting pallets of cilantro and hibiscus and packing them in her car.

“That period in my life taught me a lot not only about food and how to start a business but about myself,” Sandoval says. “I did that for a year and knew this was what I needed to do.”

Today, Salsaology is sold across the country and has won multiple awards for it’s taste.

CREDIT: credit: Salsaology

By 2015, Sandoval’s vision was starting to take shape as Salsaology was getting picked up in over 250 markets across the country. Her vision of starting a business that was true to her background and culture was becoming a reality.

“When I saw the sauces at Whole Foods it was years of work come true,” Sandoval says. “I always wanted to create something that was part of me and there it was. I couldn’t believe it.”

Today, Salsaology is an award-winning sauce that has been sold across the U.S. and as far as Paris. Her line of sauces has grown to four including a seasonal pumpkin sauce with plans to eventually lower costs on her products. Sandoval credits those tough days jump starting her business as a reminder of where things are today.

“I wanted to create something you would find in Mexico but make it so you could experience it in your own home,” Sandoval says. “I feel that by making these sauces I’m taking back our food and re-creating what it really means to be authentic.”

READ: Here’s What These Top Mexican Chefs Have To Say About The Future Of Mexican Food In The US

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