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11 Ways To Get A Cuban To Love You Forever

Ok, let’s say you’re trying to woo a Cuban. First off: Congratulations. You have excellent taste. Second, while we’re not all the same, there are definitely a few things that unite all Cubans, especially when it comes to winning our hearts. We’re here to help you figure that out so, let’s get to it:

Pastelitos de guayaba.

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Credit:  Instagram / @miamando

There are few things in this world more beautiful than a pastelito de guayaba. And when it comes to romance, a really good pastelito — perfectly flaky on the outside, gooey on the inside — will beat out a box of chocolates every time.

A Cuban sandwich, properly made.

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Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / jeffreyw

The “properly made” part is key here. For some reason, people love to remix Cuban sandwiches in truly absurd and sometimes downright horrifying ways. (Just today I saw an image of a Cuban sandwich that contained lettuce and, reader, I nearly fainted.) Why mess with a classic? Leave off the chipotle mayo. Throw the braised, pork-kissed kale compote or whatever right into the trash. Just give us a perfectly-pressed combination of pork, ham, mustard, pickles, and swiss cheese on Cuban bread. That’s what love tastes like.

Chisme.

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Credit: MakeAGif

True, lots of different people love chisme, but for Cubans, it’s a WAY OF LIFE. Bring us the gift of good chisme and we are yours forever.

Really, really good coffee.

Pouring a Cafe Cubano at Versailles, Miami, FL
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / vxla

We’re not talking about the lukewarm, bean-kissed tears most people call coffee. We mean good, strong Cuban coffee. Caliente, amargo, espeso y fuerte. The kind you only need a teeny tiny little cup for, or else you’ll literally die.

Keeping the Scarface jokes to a minimum.

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Credit: Universal Pictures / NeoGAF

Look, we’re never going to stop people from quoting this movie. Tony Montana is probably the most famous fictional-Cuban-played-by-a-New-York-Italian-dude of all time. So let’s just space the quotes far apart. Maybe we can all agree not to shout “say hello to my little friend” during hookups? Is everyone cool with that?

The scent of violetas.

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Credit: Instagram / @sierrasuggs

Every (ok, most) Cuban children grew up smelling like they rolled around in a field of violets. For to many of us, that scent is one of nostalgia, harkening back to a simpler, better-smelling time before things like nervous sweat attacks and Axe body spray.

Not asking us when we’re going “back to” Cuba.

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Credit: NBC / Tumblr

Not only are there those among us who have never set foot in Cuba, but this is a fraught and sometimes pretty personal question in general. I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but now things are awkward between us. Nothing more pastelitos can’t take care of, but still.

Understanding what we mean when we talk with our hands.

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Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

Shaking hands up and down can mean “ya se formó” or “I’m so excited” or “my little brother is gonna get in trouble for something I did! Yaaas.” It is important to use context clues to know which one applies. Communication is key!

…And our chins.

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Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

What can I say. We’re an expressive people, man.

A cookie tin that actually contains cookies.

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Credit: Instagram / @tenderblenderfd

Life is all about little surprises, those tiny moments that brighten our days and keep us going. You know, like opening a tin of cookies (the blue one, always) and finding that it ACTUALLY has cookies inside instead of sewing supplies. If you present us with cookies, you have a fan for life.

Croquetas.

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Credit: YouTube / Víctor Muñoz

OK, YES, A LOT OF THESE ARE FOOD-RELATED. But it’s true that the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach, especially after standing at a little ventanita to order freshly-made croquetas from a woman who calls you “mija/o” and “mi amor.” ?

Hope these tips help. Good luck out there, kiddos!

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Credit: NBC / Giphy

WATCH: Have You Heard Fred Armisen and Horatio Sanz Do Cuban Accents? Here’s Your Chance

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Spanish Actor Javier Bardem Will Be Playing Cuban Entertainer Desi Arnaz in a New Movie and Fans Wish Hollywood Cast a Latino Instead

Entertainment

Spanish Actor Javier Bardem Will Be Playing Cuban Entertainer Desi Arnaz in a New Movie and Fans Wish Hollywood Cast a Latino Instead

Images via Getty

Recently, it was announced that Amazon studios will be producing a movie based on the lives of groundbreaking Old Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. According to reports, Nicole Kidman is set to play Ball while Spanish actor Javier Bardem will be playing Arnaz.

Seeing as Arnaz is widely viewed as one of the first Latino actors to achieve mainstream success in the United States, this news was positive for many. But for others, the news was less than ideal.

Some critics are lambasting the decision to cast Bardem as Arnaz, seeing that Bardem was born and raised in Spain, and is therefore not Latino.

One disgruntled Twitter user wrote: “I guess it’s really hard to find a Cuban actor so you have to hire a Spaniard…Whitewashing can happen to Latinos too.”

The criticism around Hollywood relying on Spanish actors and actresses to play Latino roles is not a new one. For years, Spanish actors like Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, and Paz Vega have played Latino characters in American movies. The preponderance of this phenomenon have led some people to accuse Hollywood of “white washing” Latino characters by casting Spanish actors.

Antonio Banderas is one of the most famous examples of a Spanish actor who built his career off of playing Latinos.

He has played Latinos for so long that many people think he is, in fact, Latino. But when he was erroneously called a “person of color” by American publications when he was nominated for an Oscar in 2020, there was quiet the outcry in Spain.

Spanish publications condemned American media for having an “absurd obsession” with race, and not understanding that Spaniards are, in fact, white.

Publications wrote arguments like: “Banderas might pass as a Latino ‘person of color,’ to an Arkansas farmer, great-grandson of Germans, but never to a California delivery man born to Guatemalan immigrants.”

To some observers, it seems that Hollywood prefers casting Europeans as Latinos because Hollywood sees Europe as more “sophisticated” than Latinidad.

25-year-old Spaniard Juan Pedro Sánchez, summed up the problem on Twitter, saying: “A lot of people in Spain are bothered if others confuse them for Latin American because Spaniards see Latinos as people of color, and they don’t want to be associated with that.”

He went on to say: “What bothers me is not being considered a person of color, but that people ignore that Spain was a colonizer country. It erases that history.”

The bottom line is, fans are frustrated that Hollywood keeps looking to European actors to cast Latin American characters.

Study after study shows that there is still a stubborn lack of representation for Latinos onscreen. And when there is finally a role that puts a Latino character front and center, Hollywood prefers to hire a European actor over a Latino one.

Javier Bardem is an exceptionally talented actor and there’s no doubt that he will tackle the role of Desi Arnaz with creativity and dedication–but fans’ frustrations at the casting choice doesn’t have to do with Bardem’s acting capabilities. It has to do with the all of the ways that Latinos are discounted–including professionally.

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Change Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner With These Latin American Substitutes

Culture

Change Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner With These Latin American Substitutes

GMVozd / Getty Images

Thanksgiving is almost here and the pandemic is changing things for the holiday season. One of the biggest changes is that it is not advised to gather in person for the celebration. This might seem like a bad thing but it does give you the chance to mix things up before a Zoomed Thanksgiving feast. Here are some Latin Americans substitutions you can make to your Thanksgiving table as a test run for next year.

Turkey is great but give some lechon a try.

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Lechon is a Cuban pork dish made for big celebrations. Thanksgiving is a big celebration the revolves around food. Lechon is already the meat of choice at a Cuban Thanksgiving and is usually the star of the plate. You can spend hours dealing with a turkey for the tenth year in a row or you can be a little more excited and make this delicious Cuban meal.

Tostones (patacones) are the perfect replacement for potatoes.

Tostones, also called patacones, are made using green plantains. They are tough and starchy so they make a great savory side dish. make sure you double fry these bad boys. Once when they are chopped and a second time after smashing them to their iconic flat shape. If you let the plantain ripen, you can use it to make maduros instead, which are sweet.

Or, take those plantains and make mofongo.

Mofongo uses the same green plantains except they are fried once then mashed. It goes great with pork so this is a perfect little dish to pair with the lechon if you really want to go for it. The Puerto Rican dish is something that will forever change your mind about what you’d like to see at Thanksgiving.

Causa rellena is a Peruvian take on the classic mashed potatoes.

If you want to stick to the potatoes you are used to buying, Peruvian causa rellena will given them a Latin American spin. The dish does not take long to make and requires minimal cooking. The most you have to really cook is boiling the potatoes so you can mash them but the way the dish ends it by popping it in the fridge. Just layer the cooked ingredients and set it in the fridge overnight to save on Thanksgiving Day cooking time.

Corn is always a hit, especially as esquites.

Esquites is one corn dish everyone needs to try at least once. It is a neater version of elote because it is all the same ingredients but in an easier to eat way. Better yet, you can make a big batch or opt for personal servings to make it all cleaner and easier for everyone involved.

Guava con queso pastelitos are the dessert everyone is really asking for.

This little Cuban pastry is probably one of the best desserts ever created. This is not up for debate. It is just a simple fact of Latin American desserts. Honestly, when you taste the sweet and tangy flavor of the guava wrapped in the flaky, buttery pastry, your life will change. Drop the pumpkin for one year and give this Cuban dessert a try.

READ: Take A Tasting Tour Of Latin America This Thanksgiving With This Curated Menu

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