Hanukkah is just around the corner. Have you decided what you are making for your friends and family this year? Here is 7 different foods you can make to give you Hanukkah celebrations that Latino twist!
Guacamole is amazing already, right? So, why not incorporate this staple into your Hanukkah festivities? It’s all the same but you just add some smoke whitefish and you’ve given your guests a great meal to celebrate the holiday.
As we reported a few days ago, Latin American chefs did pretty great at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Singapore. Latin American fine cuisine got a total of nine spots in the list, and two in the top ten. This is quite an achievement for a region that is relatively new to fine dining. Cities like Mexico City and Lima have just become culinary epicenters thanks to visionaries that have translated tradition into modern masterpieces. However, credit is due to the centuries of cultural remix that has produced legendary dishes. Indigenous, colonial and other influences come together in the plate and wow judges and patrons. If these places have something in common, it is the inquisitive nature of their lead chefs. They went deep into the cultural roots of their countries, even finding new ingredients to achieve creativity and perfection.
We have to pay respect to the traditional recipes and the many years (and sometimes centuries) of experimentation by everyday cooks that led to these awards. So, we have listed some of the traditional influences that these restaurants have had. Sometimes it was all there already, and chefs just took it a step further! The restaurants in this list range from the high end to a Brazilian eatery that is relaxed and not expensive at all.
At number 6: Central (Lima, Peru), Best restaurant in South America, Influenced by: ancient, indigenous Peruvian food
This is the flagship restaurant of kitchen wizard Virgilio Martínez Véliz, who travels deep into each region of his home country to fund ancient ingredients. He collaborates with indigenous men and women to learn about traditional ways of cooking. He has introduced ingredients such as the Amazonian piranha into the menu. His drive to experiment has made him a celebrity chef the world over. You can learn about his journey in S3E6 of the Netflix show Chef’s Table.
At number 10: Maido (Lima, Peru), Influenced by: traditional Japanese cuisine with a Peruvian twist and local ingredients
A testament to the ethnic diversity of Peru. The Japanese immigration in Peru has been constant and has led this ethnic minority to have a vibrant place in the social, cultural and political life of the South American country. This restaurant is let my “Micha” Tsumura, who offers a Nikkei experience that includes classic Peruvian seafood such as sea urchin and sea snail. Lima is certainly keeping up with cities such as New York, Tokyo, and Paris, which are usually the leaders of the pack.
3. At number 12: Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico), Best Restaurant in North America, Influenced by: traditional Mexican food, particularly from Oaxaca
Enrique Olvera has established himself as one of the main voices of the global fine art circuit. In his flagship Mexico City restaurant he offers dishes that use indigenous ingredients, particularly from the colorful region of Oaxaca. His team makes tortillas by hand, grinding species of corn that are rare. Olvera is not shy to experiment with ingredients that might seem “weird” to Western patrons, such as chicatana ants. A delightful experience that needs to be tasted to be believed.
4. At number 23: Cosme (New York City), Influenced by: traditional Mexican garnachas
A New York restaurant with a 100% Mexican soul. Created by Olvera and led by Mexican chef Daniela Soto-Innes, who has revealed herself as a unique culinary voice and was named the World’s Best Female Chef 2019. She serves Modern Mexican food that is inspired by the crunchiness and glorious saltiness of Mexican street food, or garnachas. If you want to take your carnitas, infladitas, and tamales to the next level, then this is the place for you. Sinful delights all around. By the way, the kitchen is 50% female, which goes hand in hand with the chef’s ideas of equality. She also employs people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, both from the United States and overseas.
5. At number 24: Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico), Influenced by: traditional Mexican cuisine
The brainchild of chef Jorge Vallejo (who used to work at Pujol) is a tribute to the postcolonial flavors of Mexico. If Pujol strived to bring back ancient recipes, Quintonil offers new interpretations of classic everyday dishes such as tostadas de cangrejo and the luxurious escamoles (ant eggs). Even dishes that your abuelita might have made, such as Huazontles or salpicon, are featured here. Look at their take on a flauta in the photo above.
6. At number 26: Boragó (Santiago, Chile), Influenced by: ingredients from Chile’s geographical diversity
Rodolfo Guzman is a raising rockstar. Like Peru’s Central, this restaurant features ingredients from every corner of the country. Rodolfo gets ingredients from the Atacama desert, all the way down to the frigid Patagonia landscapes. Have you ever tasted flowers? Well, here you can: the signature dishes is a blend of roasted flowers, Van Gogh style!
7. At number 34: Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Influenced by: traditional asado techniques
They say that if you are going to do one thing, you do it the best you can. This restaurant led by Pablo Jesus Rivero might make the best steak in the world. Following the traditional ways of cooking meat in the Pampas, cuts like rump steak and skirt steak are cooked to perfection. Sweetbread empanadas are also a standout. The decor follows the aesthetic of a 19th-century country estancia, when European pioneers made their way into the depths of the nascent country.
8. At number 39: A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil), Influenced by: Brazilian working class cooking
Pork is a relatively easy stock to raise, and it has been a staple in the diets of Brazilians for centuries. Chef Jefferson Rueda reimagines everything you can do with pork. He raises the pigs on a diet of vegetables, slaughters them in house and uses every single part of the animal, making items such as blood sausages. The degustation menu is a culinary experience that also includes beans, cabbage, and banana, other staples of Brazilian home kitchens. The owners strive to make the restaurant accessible to the community, so prices are far from exorbitant. You can dine for $13 dollars.
9. At number 49: Leo (Bogotá, Colombia), Influenced by: indigenous uses of local fruits and vegetables
Chef Leonor Espinosa has become a celebrity thanks to her bubbly personality and her use of little known ingredients such as corozo fruit, arrechon (a supposed aphrodisiac) and bijao, a banana-like plant. She learns from communities and their gastronomic traditions, creating dishes that include, for example, a crunchy coating made from ants. The menu explores different Colombian animal and plant species. A map shows where each one was sourced. The chef also runs a foundation FUNLEO, which aims to identify, reclaim and enhance the culinary traditions in Colombian communities.
Cakes have been used as a celebration for centuries. In fact, the word “cake” has a Viking origin: the word kaka in Old Norse (ha, we know what you are thinking… it sounds like a certain Spanish word, eh?). However, these sweet delicacies are sometimes infamous for how inappropriate they are or because, well, they are used to deliver brutally awful or honest messages. We found some pretty brutal cakes for all sorts of occasions… and shaped in all sorts of… well… you will see.
We found birthday cakes, despedida de soltera ones, and some of the most out there ones come from the frankly old-fashioned and terribly heteronormative gender reveal party tradition. Enjoy… or not! Do not try at home unless you really mean it!
1. Brutal honesty: los amores de verano son pasajeros
Credit: Instagram. @londonbakerboy
Many, if not most, of us have had a summer fling. It is part of growing up and also a common scenario of those first really tough heartbreaks. This cake is just so brutal that it hurts just like seeing that bus leaving with a loved one.
2. Just… ai nos vemos
Credit: Instagram. @itsa_michelle
We don’t know if the person who was taking the order at the bakery got it all wrong or if this is a passive aggressive way of breaking up with someone. Sale, bye, would be the perfect Spanish translation! The cake doesn’t look that good either!
3. We are so excited you are leaving… oh, sorry, te vamos a extrañar
Credit: Instagram. @the_Art_of_sweet
That Whoooo is like a cold, pointy dagger to the heart. We are sure that whoever this cake was for was not that happy. Una bofetada con guante blanco, as your abue would say.
4. Puberty sucks, apesta feo
Credit: Instagram. @beingsufia
This might seem like a harmless cake, but reality bites. No, no one can keep calm at that age. Whoever had a slice of that cake will likely face the wrath of this teenager at some point in the coming year.
5. Someone is getting fired at the bakery
Credit: Instagram. @joekstergram
This is just so bad. The writing on the cake is frankly awful (un poco de esfuerzo, compas!) and the message reveals lack of care in all parties involved. You are better off with no cake at all, frankly. The whole thing just seems effortless!
6. What a Matt!
Credit: Instagram. @mamabake_r
This takes the award for best use of passive aggressiveness. Yes, you got a cake, Matt, but you were also called a dick. Es en buena onda, tranquilo.
7. Ouch, this is an arrow straight to the heart
Credit: Instagram. @mamabake_r
A cake message that could have been penned by a serial killer or a sadist. Imagine closing your eyes, opening to blow the candles and encountering this cold, harsh truth facing your one-year-older self. Ay, dolor!
8. You are the best… well, maybe
Credit: Twitter. @carryyourwill
This gets extra points for honesty. What would your reaction be if you got this message that tries to be uplifting but ends up being quite insulting? We are sure that the work environment in this office is puebli chico, infierno grande.
9. Yes, your son drinks too much and maybe the dude at the bakery too
Credit: Twitter. @DailyMailUK
Seriously… we need almost no words for this one. It is wrong on so many levels, from its conception to its floppy but hilarious execution. We are sure Stefan grabbed those two bottled of JD to process all this info.
10. OK… taking your NFL fandom a bit too far
Credit: Twitter. @Deadspin
We would think that your 5-year-old’s birthday party is a happy event, right? Full of joy and with no room for negativity? Well, think again. We can only imagine the faces of the other parents when they saw this masterpiece. Seriously, dude, it is your kid’s party, stop being such an attention grabber.
11. We are all dying, second by second, year by year
Credit: Twitter. @thatladdybrie
Yes, every birthday is a kind reminder of all the achievements and joy we have experienced over the past 12 months. Or it could be a fierce, but sweet, reminder of our inevitable demise, of the fact we will soon end up buried or burnt into ashes. Hip hip hooray!
12. Yes, you are in your 40s, mi reinita
Credit: Twitter. @advertina
For many women in their 40s, birthdays can be bittersweet. This woman’s sisters decided to restregarle en la cara the fact that she is 44 now. Ha, ha, muy chistositas.
13. OK, then… this one needs little explanation
Credit: Instagram. @pasteleriawemakecake
Despedidas de solteras are all full of phallic paraphernalia. But seriously, this is just a little bit too out there. We are not being persinados, but this is just a little bit too much…. and unappetizing. The message on the cake: “EAT ME. Ready for the big night?”. Tasteless.
14. This has got to be the worst prank ever or a very big #fail
Credit: Instagram. @diegue_cjs
We are sure that no one had the slice covered by this track of Woody’s chocolate poo. Que pinche asco! We feel bad for whoever got their birthday kinda ruined.
15. We celebrate this brave woman and her sense of humor: al mal tiempo, buena cara
First of all, it must be hard to deal with such a tough medical situation and be brave enough to share it publicly. But what is braver still is…
Credit: Instagram. @AuthorFarrah
Having a party about it and a cake shaped like a pair of ovaries! She is lucky to have friends who help her travel this road with a gran sonrisa!
16. Talking about human reproduction, let’s face the elephant in the room: gender reveal cakes!
Credit: Instagram. @omgcupcakefactory
Gender reveal cakes might sound like a good idea, but sometimes they are just sexist and plain awful. Just look at this cake, which seems to have been designed by a silly teenager who hasn’t been told anything about how to deal with issues of gender and sex in a respectful manner.
17. Guns or glitter? Seriously!
Credit: Instagram. @slumberjack666
We just can’t… so all men are violent trigger happy mafia dudes and all women are princesses covered in glitter and dressed with so much pink that it seems like a flamingo puked on them, right? Ladies and gentlemen, it is the twentieth first century, please take your old-fashioned gendered ideas somewhere else.
18. Ha, ha, ha… they said “sex”… ha ha (cue Beavis and Butthead laughter)
Credit: Twitter. @PaopuMilkshake
We found so many terrible cakes with this silly message that it is not even funny!
19. If only life was truly like this!
Credit: Twitter. @yaesohn
OMG, we want this to happen in real life! Imagine the faces of all the guests if a bunch of insects just flew out of the pastel.
20. Talk about hidden messages
Credit: Instagram. @bluehorsebakery
This is either a cake for a woodworking enthusiast, or a not-so-subtle threat! Run for your life! This cake seriously looks like something out of the Saw horror movies.
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