Things That Matter

17 What-If Scenarios: What If The British Had Colonized Latin America 

Processes of European colonization around the world shaped global politics since Christopher Columbus landed on current day Caribbean islands, and continue to shape the cultural identity of the lands they colonized. Let it there be no mistake: colonization was brutal, illegal, unjust and bloody, and indigenous populations in what are now the Americas were decimated by centuries of abuse at the hands of Portugal, The Netherlands, France, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

Latin America was shaped by the mix between Spanish, Portuguese and French colonizers and ancient civilizations such as the Quechua, the Maya, the Aztec and the Inca. The flavors, rhythms and social imaginaries of the region are colorful and respond to the particularities of the European and Indigenous civilizations that clashed.

But what is the British had colonized today’s Latin America? We do not want to banalize colonization, but sometimes it is kinda fun to wonder about the what-ifs of world history.

1. The region would not be called Latin America at all

Credit: Latin+America+stretches+for+5,500+miles+from+the+Rio+Grande+River+in+Mexico+to+Cape+Horn+at+the+southern+end+of+South+America..jpg. Digital image. Slide Player.

Latin America is called so because Portuguese, Spanish and French all derive from Latin and are the most widely used colonial languages in the region. If English ruled, then perhaps the region would be called Anglo America or something similar. Sounds like out of Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

2. Everyone would have morning and afternoon tea

Credit: morning_tea-0qt3ptk6ilp22598qm2_ct677x380. Digital image. Warwick Daily News

The British love rituals and good manners and rituals, and the everyday pauses for tea or coffee and cake and biscuits. It would be great to enjoy coffee and ginger snaps watching the Pacific ocean.

3. In fact, té de coca would be made by appointment of the queen

Credit: te-de-coca-1. Digital image. Expo Indigenas

Indigenous Bolivians drink a concoction of coca leaves to deal with altitude. The tea would be loved in the UK and the royals would love it.

4. Harry and Meghan would have gotten married in Machu Picchu

Credit: Machu-Picchu-Classic-View-2-1. Digital image. NOMADasaurus

The British would have savaged the Incas just like the Spanish, but they would have held on to political power by incorporating the region into the Commonwealth. Harry and Meghan would have organized a lavish wedding in the Andean hotspot.

5. The queen would have a pair of Xoloescuincles!

Credit: 635885090580c438b00b437.11522973-breed-550. Digital image. Perfect Pets

Move over corgis! The Queen would have pet Xolos and parade them in Buckingham Palace. So cute.

6. Aztec-Indian cuisine would be a thing

Credit: 606_02_2. Digital image. Mexiclore

Let’s be honest: British food is very boring, so they have incorporated the ingredients from their former colonies in their own culinary traditions. Chicken tikka masala is the national dish of England thanks to the incorporation of Indian spices into their cupboards! Aztec ingredients would be fused with cardamom, cumin, fenugreek, and chives to produce curry mole!

7. Afro-American culture would have spread out even more

Credit: 3526183_1425435360.6653.jpg. Digital image. Go Fund Me.

Perhaps the most horrible legacy of British colonialism was slavery. Even though the Spanish, French, and Portuguese illegally traded with African populations, the British were even more brutal. African culture would have spread farther and deeper into the continent as a result.

8. The Brits would eat tortillas and marmite for breakfast

Credit: bc70e0577e8e20b4701f7b099a1b92e5. Digital image. Yahoo Finance

The English love to have yeast extract over toast for breakfast. Marmite is salty and definitely an acquired taste. It would be made better over warm white corn tortillas. This would certainly brighten up their mornings.

9. Salsa would have some Celtic dance thrown in

Credit: lord-of-the-dance-lst173350. Digital image. The List .

African influence would have eventually led to the creation of salsa music. However, the Brits would have brought Irish migrants and their Lord of the Dance moves. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-maaaaaaambo.

10. Mexico would have been called New Loch Ness

Credit: 58559-istock-457394005. Digital image. Mental Floss

The British would have arrived at the ancient Tenochtitlan and upon realizing it was a lake, they would name the territory New Loch Ness in honor of the famous lake. Centuries later, people would claim to see giant sea monsters in both places and conspiracy theories would abound.

11. Cuba would be The New Isle of Mann

Credit: map1. Digital image. Visit Isle of Mann

Cuba would not be Cuba, but the New Isle of Mann, due to its similarity to the island stuck in between Liverpool and Dublin. This would have triggered a generous migration of Irish folk to the Caribbean and give birth to CariCeltic culture!

12. The region would be crazy for rugby!

Credit: Springboks_Reuters NewsHub. Digital image. News Hub.

Move over soccer! As part of the Commonwealth, most countries in the region would be head over heels over rugby. It is practiced in Argentina today, but in this alternate reality teams like The Mayas, The Sioux, The Inca, and The Quechua Eagles would have millions of hinchas.

13. Everyone would do a year abroad in Australia. G’day mate!

Credit: aussiewordoftheday. Digital image. Sion Nagh

As part of the Commonwealth, the region would send its youngest, brightest and most desmadroso minds to the land Down Under. Saying G’Day to everyone on the street would be common and some Australian colonies would start to pop up near surfing-prone areas. Everyone would have BBQs on hot days. Very similar to Argentinian asados!

14. Clocks everywhere and no siesta!

Credit: SyncronizedClocks-166311698-(1). Digital image. Wired

It is no secret that the British are a bit anal when it comes to time. The whole continent, from Canada to Patagonia, would run like clockwork over a single timezone. Siestas? Are you kidding? No time for that! Efficiency would be the norm, but life would be a bit more boring. Puaj.

15. Harry Potter would conjure up an ancient Mayan god to defeat Voldemort

Credit: mayagoddeathahpuch11. Digital image. Ancient Pages

Our favorite wizard would not only resort to Anglo-Saxon lore, but also to Mayan ancient scriptures. He would call an ancient Mayan God to be able to finally defeat the one that shall not be named. Just look at how badass the dude on the picture is. Ay, nanita! Also, Hermione would look like a tiny cute Frida Kahlo. Ron would still be a redhead.

16. Shakira would be called Lady Shakespeare

Credit: Instagram. @shakira

Shakira would still exist (because she is a wonderful force of nature that escapes the rules of time and space, thank you very much), but she would have played homage to the great bard by calling herself Lady Shakespeare. Thou hips shall not lie! Just see how at home she looks in London in this picture.

17.  Mr. Bean would have worked with Chespireetou

Credit: ap815014119540. Digital image. MSNBC

Could you imagine a crossover between the great Chespirito and the uncanny Mr. Bean? They would have formed one of the best comedic duos of all time as if Chaplin and Buster Keaton had teamed up. Damn, we now wanna watch that!

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Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

Culture

Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

I guarantee that since Beyonce’s hit anthem ‘Formation’ hit the airwaves, we’ve all been wanting to channel our inner Bey and carry some hot sauce in our bags. But which one would you choose?  

Whether you prefer sweet and sour, ranch, spicy, or mild, when it comes to options, the possibilities are endless!

A sauce’s beauty is that every country has its famous creation that usually accompanies their traditional dishes. Every Latin American country has its mouth-watering sauce that was created using recipes passed down from ancestors.

AJILIMOJILI

In Puerto Rico, this sauce is quite popular because of its ají dulce flavor – a mix of sweet and sour notes. The green salsa is the Caribbean’s version of hot sauce and is added to recipes, such as seafood and boiled vegetables.

VALENTINA

Few of us don’t know about the magic that is Valentina. Pour that sauce all over your papas, pizza, jicama, elotes, and so much more. And it’s great because it’s available in a variety of heat levels so everyone can enjoy. 

TIÁ LUPITA HABANERO SAUCE

This Habanero Hot Sauce is an original family recipe of the brand and combines just the right amount of heat with each fruit’s natural sweetness. It is handmade in small batches, using only habanero peppers, dates, mangos, and spices. All ingredients are sourced from local farms and are non-GMO and gluten-free certified.

The sauce can be used as a condiment with breakfast burritos, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork, steak, chicken, fish, quesadillas, and more.

CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is mostly tied to Argentina, even though other countries also serve the herb-based salsa. To achieve the perfect chimichurri, mix parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Pair with meat cuts like churrasco and watch the magic happen.

CHIRMOL

In Central America, chismol or chirmol is made of tomatoes, onion, peppers and other ingredients. It’s similar to pico de gallo and is used in a variety of dishes.

RICANTE

Sauce, dressing, dip, marinade… Ricante does it all and with no sugar or salt added and with just the right amount of approachable spice. Ricante is not only Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Friendly, but tiá approved!

Ricante launched with five incredibly unique hot sauces, marrying non-traditional essences like apples, mangos, carrots, and habaneros.

SALSA ROSA

Pastas are enjoyed all across Latin America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay, which pair the dishes with salsa rosa, a tomato-based sauce mixed with heavy cream. Together, they create a pink paste that blankets a variety of pasta dishes.

TACTICAL TACOS

Wait, so not all taco bases are citrus?! Tactical Tacos knows how to do taco sauce right with their notes of orange, lime, and cilantro to start your bite out just right, followed up with a perfect hint of Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper in the background. That’s just their mild sauce, Snafu. The Fire Fight and Ghost Protocol give you a similar ride with the citrus kick but with a much bigger spice hit for those that are brave enough to try it out!

MOLE

Mole is a spicy-and-sweet sauce made from chocolate that translates. The dark brown sauce gets its heat from chiles, but also has a touch of sweetness from the cacao, almonds, and peanuts often added. The sauce is topped with sesame seeds.

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All The Truly Surprising Starbucks Menu Items From Around Latin America

Culture

All The Truly Surprising Starbucks Menu Items From Around Latin America

There are some things you can count on at any American Starbucks location, like the uniform flavor of Pike Place Roast, a sub-par bagel, or the baristas’ inability to spell Jennypher correctly. Outside of the U.S., however, the chain must make some menu adjustments based on local tastes.

Although the term “unusual” is certainly relative, here’s a glimpse of Starbucks’ best international offerings.

Maracuya Frappuccino – Mexico

Transport yourself to the Riviera Maya with this one. The people of Mexico can taste the exotic fruity flavor of passionfruit (aka maracuya) in their frappuccinos and save themselves from an actual trip to the beach.

Ponche Navideño – Mexico

Starbucks México on Twitter: "Recárgate de buenos deseos con una bebida de  temporada (pst, nosotros te invitamos la segunda 😁). Del 20 al 24 de  noviembre de 3 a 5 p. m.… https://t.co/hB3ziwEuDp"

Although most of us think as ponche as being just a seasonal option, several Starbucks locations in Mexico carry the traditional tasty treat all year long.

Banana Split Frappuccino – Mexico

You can take this one with or without coffee. It has all the banana and chocolate flavor of the beloved dessert and is topped with crushed waffle cones.

Envuelto Poblano – Mexico

Starbucks México | Envuelto poblano, el sabor de México en Starbucks -  YouTube

Lucuma Crème Frappuccino – Peru

Too bad they don’t serve it in the United States but I can understand why. This frappuccino is made with Lucuma, which is a tropical fruit from Peru, so it would be problematic to export it to different parts of the world. On the other hand, it makes the drink exclusive and adds one more reason to go to Peruvian Starbucks.

The taste of the fruit can be compared to maple flavor or butterscotch and this frappuccino itself is creamy and sweet as a Peruvian treat should be.

Barrita Nuez – Chile

Meet the famous humble cookie with a Chilean spin. You can taste the Barrita Nuez in Chile and enjoy the stuffing which consists of dulce de leche, nougat and walnuts.

Brigadeiro Frappuccino – Brazil

This frappuccino was born to honor the love of dulce de leche flavored ice creams which all Brazilians share. Dulce de leche is a traditional Latin American dessert that is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk until it changes its color and gets a flavor similar to caramel.

Mini Donuts Nutella – Brazil

18 International Starbucks Items You'll Want To Travel For

Mini fried donuts filled with Nutella. Why are there no Nutella-filled treats at an American Starbucks?!

Pão de Queijo – Brazil

Brazil is often associated with skewers of meat, but there’s certainly a lot more cuisine variation. The fluffy balls of gluten-free cheese bread known as pão de queijo is a good example. The use of sour cassava starch dates back to the 1600s, before cheese was even in the picture, but today they’re available everywhere you turn in Brazil, from beachside stands to grandmothers’ kitchens to the Starbucks pastry case.

Dulce de Leche Frappuccino – Argentina

This creamy Frappuccino flavored with dulce de leche is pretty much what dreams are made of.

Cafe Tinto – Colombia

Starbucks coffee couldn’t be further than the working-class style of Colombian coffee called tinto, but as part of an effort to blend into its surroundings, the chain sells short cups of the stuff. It’s served black, and has a slightly thicker consistency than your average joe.

Churro Frappuccino – Latin America

Churro Frappuccino served at Starbucks all over Latin America includes cinnamon sprinkling, whipped cream, white mocha syrup, and a churro. 

What’s your favorite Starbucks items from across Latin America?

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