Things That Matter

21 Foods Latinos Grew Up Resenting But Are So Proud Of Now

Growing up Latino means that breakfast was not always cheerios and dinner not only mac and cheese. We got to grow up with a lot more sabor in our diet than the average American, but sometimes that was more than we could handle. Not all traditional foods make kids mouths water after all. Here are the top 21 foods that Latina moms sometimes had to force us to eat, enjoy the trip down memory lane!

Tripas

Source: Twitter@ JRamirez9014 

Whether it was in Menudo, Mondongo, Mofongo or something else, most of us have had cow stomach served up to us at one point in our childhood. While the truth is all these dishes are quite delicious if you are not ready for the chewy texture of tripas and start thinking about what it really is the gag factor can be pretty high!

Morcilla

Source: Twitter @DGastronomia 

Spanish blood sausage originated in Europe but it’s a big hit as a street food all over Latin America as well. Condolences to the kids that had it show up in their lunchbox however, as this blood clot and rice savory snack can get you some pretty intense stares from other kids. Don’t worry, you will learn to love it. Someday.

Chapulines

Source: Twitter @Gaby60921367


You thought it was cool that your uncle came all the way from Oaxaca to visit the fam until he broke out the sack of roasted grasshoppers and passed it around. Not wanting to seem rude, your mom made you down a handful. And then another. Crunch crunch!

Gelatina

Source: Twitter @happinessgus 

While many kids got big fancy birthday cakes on their special day, lots of us got stuck with a wiggly woggly gelatin dish instead. You might say that it actually goes down smooth and silky but when you start thinking about what it’s actually made of, cow skin and feet, it kinda gets stuck in the throat.

Escamoles

Source: Twitter @NardoVargas1 

Although they are known as “Mexican caviar”, you probably were not too happy about slurping up escamoles when your mama served them up back in the day. The larvae and pupae of a particular species of ant, this delicacy takes an acquired taste, one you probably didn’t have as a young un who just wanted something normal for a change.

Chicharrones

Source: Twitter @josehuizar

Nothing says yummy for the tummy like deep fried pork skin. But the worst part is that chicharrones are one of those foods that sometimes can be chewed on forever without going down. A kids nightmare come true. The truth is this dish pairs quite perfectly with a  cold cerveza to help wash it down, but that’s something you won’t be getting your hands on for years to come!

Lengua

Source: Twitter @benildeswf 

Those were the most tender and delicious tacos you have ever had in your life right? Up until you found out that you were eating cow tongue! Now your mom has to use a straightjacket to keep you in your chair and force feed you that food! Bon Appetit!

Chile Candy

Source: Twitter @elguzii 

All the other kids were sucking on those watermelon Now and Laters but you got a lollipop so spicy it makes your lips burn. At least there is blistex!

Spicy Fruit

Source: Twitter @Tarascosice 

As if spicy hot candy wasn’t enough, you also had to eat things like mango and tamarindo completely smothered in chile. Sometimes even in your ice cream!

Buche

Source: Twitter @BryanDelga98

You honestly thought that tripas were hard to put down the gullet until you met their next of kin. Made from the stomach of pigs, buche is one of the top meats that Latina moms like to slip into your sandwiches on the under. Surprise!

Hog Head Cheese

Source: Twitter @Xguavaa 

Nope that’s not cheddar there in your lunch box darling, that’s the jelly made from boiling a whole pig head for hours. Queso de Puerco is scarier than the boogey man and a chupa cabra in one!

Ceviche

Source: Twitter @MemesDelPeru      

While among adults, ceviche is often compared to heaven on earth, raw fish is the kind of dish that gets kids hiding in the closet. But you gotta come out sometime junior!

Nopales

Source: Twitter @Javijasso77 

What’s that in the eggs ma? Green beans? Nope, it’s the slimy leaf of a prickly desert cactus eaten all over Northern Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The truth is its healthy as hell, just like those Brussel sprouts…

Tortilla Sandwiches

Source: Twitter @ChileBossBK


That photo actually looks pretty bomb, but many of us grew up with mothers who thought it was cool to substitute tortillas every time the wonder bread ran out. PB&J on a tortilla is just not the same ma!

Hormigas Culonas

Source: Twitter @NixonUribe 

Although they taste a lot like roasted salted peanuts, these Colombian big-ass ants look like they jumped right off of fear factor. Just put em on some arequipe obleas and it’s all good! Not.

The Hamburger Burrito

Source: Twitter @scalzi 

When mom is in a rush but still trying to keep it traditional you sometimes get the freakish Frankenstein monster known as the hamburger burrito. We pity the kid that has to choke this one down. For real, at least put some hamburger helper on that thing.

Sopa de Raiz

Source: Twitter @almuerzonegocio


This soup is so gross we couldn’t even use a real picture. Cleverly disguised as “root soup” this South American traditional stew is actually made with cow or horse penis. Wait, you mean you didn’t know? And it was your favorite?

Old Beans

Source: Twitter @Matt_4_Good 

Yo, leftovers are cool. Sometimes they even taste better the next day, truth be told. But when those beans have been hanging out in the fridge all week they can get that ragged furry and slimy taste going. Mom says their fine though, so chow down hijo mio!

Tortilla Chips with Mayo

Source: Twitter @jds4wyer 

Ran out of salsa so she went ahead and scooped you out half the jar of mayo. Now you gotta eat it. Sucks to be you bro.

Sesos

Source: Twitter @BonaVivant 

Creamy like oatmeal and flavorful as crab, cow brains are by far one of many kid’s favorite lunchmeats. In hell maybe. This one probably had you wishing all those Zombie movies were real so you could have someone to pawn them off on.

Cuy

Source: Twitter @Yanquillero

Nothing says dinnertime fun like a roasted rat on your plate that seems intent on staring you down while you try to figure out where to make your first cut. Chances are that if your mom is from one of the Andean nations she has tried to pull this one on you as Guinea Pig is a delicacy there that goes back to Incan times. 

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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