Culture

McDonald’s In Mexico Sells Huevito Con Jamon Y Se Me Hizo Agua La Boca

If you ever travel down south — way south — you’ll find that Latin America has a lot to offer. Culture, beauty, adventure… and a bunch of junk food your friends didn’t know existed. McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts usually feature their traditional menus with a few items featuring traditional flavors. And no matter how hard you look, you won’t find them here.

McMolletes

mc-molletes

CREDIT: MCDONALDS.COM.MX

Where it’s available: McDonalds in México.

Molletes usually consist of a slice of bread (bolillo), beans, cheese and whatever else you feel like adding to the top. They’re great for hangovers. The McMolletes are just like your abuela’s… except made by teenagers in hairnets.

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake
CREDIT: FOODSPOTTING.COM

Where it’s available: Starbucks in Perú

Why aren’t these available in the states?! Everyone knows tres leches cake is sweeter than your ex, and it’ll never leave you.

Chicha Fruit Coolatta

Dunkin Chicha Granizada

CREDIT: DUNKIN’ DONUTS

Where it’s available: Dunkin’ Donuts in Perú

Besides sounding close enough to chichis to make you giggle, chicha is chock full of good stuff! It’s said to prevent colon cancer, reduce cholesterol and improves joints. Dunkin’ Donuts’ version, which is inspired by chicha morada, probably contains lots of sugar, too.

Churrasquito Patagónico

Churrasquito Patagónico

CREDIT: BURGERKING.COM.AR

Where it’s available: Burger King in Argentina

Just look at it. If you’re mouth’s not watering right now, you’re either dead or a vegetarian. Meat lovers that they are, Argentinians decided to take the wimpy Double Whopper, and made it BIGGER.

READ: 9 Latino Super Foods and Drinks to Get You Past Your Hangover

Corn & Philly

Corn & Philly

CREDIT: KFC.BRASIL.COM.BR

Where it’s available: Kentucky Fried Chicken in Brazil

You may not know this, but Philadelphia cream cheese is HUGE in Latin America. In fact, most people use “queso philadelphia” to describe all cream cheese. Why somebody decided to mix it with corn and put it in a fried chicken sandwich is beyond me, but aren’t you at least a bit curious?

Mexicana Lovers Pizza

Mexicana Lovers

CREDIT: PIZZAHUT.COM.MX

Where it’s available: Pizza Hut in Mexico

This is not for the faint of heart… or stomach. Unless you’re Mexican, which means you can totally handle a pizza covered in chorizo, pico de gallo, jalapeños, and bacon.

Chicha Donut

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CREDIT: Dunkindonuts.com

Where it’s available: Dunkin’ Donuts in Perú

Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t sell a chicha drink, they’ve got a beautiful cake donut with a lavender-colored, chicha-flavored icing. Who is starting the online petition to get these in the US?

READ: Forget lingerie Models and Rio’s Beaches… This is the BEST Thing to Come from Brazil

Huevos con Jamón

jamon-con-huevos-mcd

CREDIT: mcdonalds.com.mx

Where it’s available: McDonald’s in Mexico

If McMolletes aren’t your thing, McDonald’s in Mexico also offers huevos con jamón, just the way your mom makes it. Well, only if your mom includes a hash brown and an english muffin in your breakfast.

Exotic Fruit Ice Cream

Baskin Robbins - mora, limón, maracuyá y guanábana
CREDIT: Baskin Robbins / AKRODIGITAL.EC

Where it’s available: Baskin Robbins in Perú

Limón may not seem exotic to you, but how about mora, maracuyá, or guanábana? They’re not just fun to say, they’re also super fruits, and they’re as delicious as they are weird-looking. Bonus points if you’ve noticed that Peruvians have all the best fruits!

READ: Did You Know that Mexican Food is Officially Recognized as Culturally Important?

Chocolate Pizza

Domino's Chocolate

CREDIT: BRANDEATING.COM

Where it’s available: Domino’s Pizza in Brazil

The name says it all. IT’S A CHOCOLATE PIZZA! Also, Brazilians are crazy attractive so being in a Brazilian Domino’s surrounded by models and chocolate sounds like a dream come true.

Lucuma Delight

Lucuma Delight

CREDIT: Travelchannel.com

Where it’s available: McDonalds in Perú

This flan-like dessert comes from a fruit that looks like an avocado and a mango had a baby! And yes, it’s also a superfood! I hear the taste is indescribable so I’ll take that as a personal challenge.

Would you eat any of these foods if they were available in the U.S.? Let us know below, and don’t forget to share!

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

Culture

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

Credit: David Stanley / Flickr

Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

Credit: Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

Credit: kwhigam / Flickr

Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

The Top 12 Salsas From Across Latin America, Ranked

Culture

The Top 12 Salsas From Across Latin America, Ranked

Jackie_testet / Instagram

Hot sauce has been a kitchen table staple for Latinos for thousands of years. The Aztecs pretty much invented it. We put it on eggs, on snacks, on meat….you probably have that person in your life who would put it on their finest cardboard and eat it up, the stuff is so popular. Anything that brings vegans and carnivores together at the dinner table deserves to be celebrated. Enjoy this roundup of hot sauces from all over Latin America to try out with your next meal.

1. Mexico: Cholula

Credit: cholulahotsauce/ Instagram

Made in Chapala, Jalisco, the sauce is made with a blend of piquín and arbol chiles. It’s often put up against Tapatio on American restaurant tables in a Coke vs. Pepsi level battle of the condiments. But we know there’s room for both. However, if you’re really dedicated, you might be able to join the Order of Cholula for exclusive offers.

2. Belize: Marie Sharp

Credit: jackie_testtet / Instagram

Made in Stann Creek, Belize, Marie Sharp started her line of hot sauces in her kitchen where she experimented with blends of Habanero peppers and jams and jellies made from fruits and vegetables picked from her farm. The brand has long outgrown the kitchen and went international. We stan an entrepeneurial queen.

3. Costa Rica: Banquete Chilero

Credit: hunter_t_morris / Instagram

This thicker sauce from Costa Rica gets its flavor from habanero peppers and carrots. Some might compare it to an asian sweet and sour sauce.

4. Guatemala: Picama’s Salsa Brava

Credit: beambeeaam/ Instagram

This mild, green sauce has a ketchup-like consistency and is made with serrano peppers. The color is straight up neon, but some people swear by it, stocking up on bottles when they visit Guatemala. Also, don’t you love when an abuela comes through like this?

5. Honduras: D’Olanchano

Credit: @OldJersey / Twitter

This hot sauce uses Tabasco peppers grown in the Olancho valley and later aged in wooden barrels to acquire its taste.

6. Nicaragua: Chilango

Credit: libertadjustica19 / Instagram

Chilango Chile sources their ingredients from all over the world to create unique flavors in their line of hot sauces. The Cabro Consteño is made with the Nicaraguan yellow “goat” pepper grown on the Atlantic coast. The Habanero Chocolate gets its name from the dark, brown pepper it uses for flavor. It doesn’t actually have chocolate in it – whether that relieves or distresses you.

7. Panama: D’Elidas

Credit: south side art / Instagram

This yellow is made with Habanero peppers, mustard, and vinegar. Hot sauce lovers report getting a lot of that mustard taste in the sauce, so adjust expectations accordingly. People are known to fill up their suitcases with bottles before leaving Panama.

8. Brazil: Mendez Hot Sauce

Credit: splikityspic / Instagram

Mendez Hot Sauce is a brand out of Central Brazil where creator, Rafael Mendez strives for sustainable business practices that help his community. The sauce uses the locally sourced Malagueta pepper which creates work for local farming families, lifting many of them out of poverty.

9. Chile: Diaguitas

Credit: lutecastro / Instagram

Diaguitas is the most popular hot sauce in Chile, coming in a few flavors. It’s light on ingredients, letting the peppers speak for themselves. It’s salty, so handle with care to balance that taste out on your food.

10. Colombia: Amazon Pepper Sauce

Credit: lutecastro / Instagram

This brand uses a variety of Amazon peppers that grow at the edge of the rainforest in the Andes Cauca Valley. They blend the chilis with other tropical ingredients. They have a mild flavor that stands out made with guava. 

11. Ecuador: Ole

Credit: serieroom700 / Instagram

Ole carries a few different flavors, but it always goes back to the ingredients to make a hot sauce unique to the region it comes from. Ole uses the tena pepper which only grows in Ecuador. They have it on its own where you get the fruit taste with a lash of heat. They also put it in their Tamarillo sauce which couples the tena with the fruit from the pepper tomato tree.

12. Peru: Salsa de Aji Amarillo

Credit: PeruChef.com

What’s actually the most popular thing to do in Peru is to just make your own hot sauces. However, sometimes you can find bottled sauces that will satisfy the craving. The Peru Chef makes one with the aji amarillo pepper which has a subtle sweetness to it and is a cornerstone of Peruvian cuisine.

Of course, there are many hot sauces from all over Latin America that you’ll simply have to travel for if you want the best like Llajwa sauce from Bolivia. You could also probably stay home and get some bomb green sauce from King Taco.

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