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21 Foods Latina Moms Forced Us To Eat

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. 

20 Foods And Drinks That Instantly Take Caribbean Latinos Back To Their Childhood

Food & Drink

20 Foods And Drinks That Instantly Take Caribbean Latinos Back To Their Childhood

@runawayrice\ Instagram

For Caribbean people, there is something so intoxicating about our food. The food of our islands of origin make an Caribbean’s knees buckle and mouth water. Being in the American diaspora can look very different depending on where you are in relation to the Caribbean. South Florida and New York are filled with grocery stores, bodegas and shops carrying all of the food products that make Caribbean food what it is.

For those Caribbean descendants living in other parts of the U.S., finding your Goya products can be tricky. Some times it is just easier to learn the recipe and make things like sofrito yourself. Regardless, there is just something about the food that nourishes the body and soul.

Mofongo is one dish that every Puerto Rican will swear to be the best dish in the Caribbean.

CREDIT: @picandord / Instagram

Honestly, plantains of any variety will make an islander physically drool. For mofongo, green plantains are fried and smashed in a pillón with some variety of meat or seafood. It tastes better when you eat it straight from the wooden pillón.

Pasteles, i.e. more plantains.

CREDIT: @CookingChannel / Twitter

While mainland Latino countries use masa for their tamales, Puerto Ricans and the Dominicans use plátanos verdes y calabazas along with a pound of sofrito. They’re wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks but are equally as cherished around the holidays.

Obviously coquito is a major staple around the holidays.

CREDIT: @lala / Twitter

Speaking of holidays, it ain’t one until an abuelita or two brings in a gallon of coquito, Puerto Rico’s version of eggnog. You know how, if you’re Mexican, seeing holiday garland makes you need champurrado? Es lo mismo con coquito for Puerto Ricans. Starbucks can’t replicate that no matter how hard they try.

Cafecito isn’t cafecito if it’s anything but Café Bustelo.

CREDIT: @tcclockworth / Twitter

Cubans and Puerto Ricans alike will not submit to any other type of caffeine. It’s beneath us. Except Cafe La Llave if you’re in a pinch.

Even this pic of pastelitos de guayaba will make any islander drool on their phones.

CREDIT: @FeelingEmulsify / Twitter

When someone shows up to your fiesta carrying a cardboard box, there is nothing more precious you could hope for than some fresh Cuban pastelitos. Puff pastry, sweet cream cheese and guava make the world go round.

As will a box of pan de bono.

CREDIT: @5HCcSogno / Twitter

Piping hot pan de bono is like bringing lumps of gold to dinner. The tapioca based cheesy bread makes America’s grilled cheese look like trash.

Aborrajados compete hard for the center stage.

CREDIT: @elsiglocomve / Twitter

To be fair, these originate from Colombia, but they include plantain as a base so therefore, I’m salivating. If there is a banana involved, the tropical isla in me is dancing.

No Caribbean food list is complete without a classic Cubano.

CREDIT: @VisitTampaBay / Twitter

If you grew up in a Cuban household, you know the power this unassuming sandwich. The pork, mustard, pickles and buttered Cuban bread pressed on a hot griddle is everything your weekends were made of.

Did I already mention plantains?

CREDIT: @ELMADGOOD / Twitter

Well, you don’t have to go boiling and mashing and prepping plantains for hours on end (see: pasteles) to make an islander drool. Just cut up a peeled green plantain, fry, press and fry again, baby.

Bacalao con mojo? That’s a double winner.

CREDIT: @bar44penarth / Twitter

We’re islanders. Fish is going to happen and a lot of lime juice is going to happen on top of that. Plus, we always have garlic breath because it is a staple in most of our foods. Bring on the mojo.

Sofrito is the base for everything holy about Caribbean food.

CREDIT: @SoxyStrawberry / Twitter

It takes a while to make but it is so worth the hard work you have to put in. It is the base of so many different foods and adds a very delicious and culturally important taste to their dishes.

Picadillo was for dinner almost every night.

CREDIT: @TheKitchenista / Twitter

You wouldn’t going to eat it without half a jar of banana peppers on top. Plus, it’s a vehicle for rice, which is just too obvious a salivary trigger to even list here.

Pero, let’s talk about yucca, fam.

CREDIT: @cedellamarley / Twitter

I grew up on this when I lived in Miami, but since jetting off further into the diaspora, it’s hard to come by. Yucca fries are la casada perfecta of my identity as Latina-American. It’s the food I would choose to eat forever if someone made me.

The empanadas are also something to admire.

CREDIT: @Rodriguez_Rotisserie_chick / Instagram

I don’t even know what these are called, but I know I grew up on them at every extended family gathering. Folks would divide and conquer their local panaderías and we would feast.

Mashed Yucca is nothing to snuff at.

CREDIT: “Mashed Yuca with Mojo” Digital Image. Eating Well. 10 November 2018.

While my assimilated American self is here for yucca fries, the jóven in me longs for mashed yucca at the Thanksgiving table. All that olive oil and garlic is the key to a happy (albeit single) life.

Croquetas are life-changing.

CREDIT: @Croquetilla25 / Twitter

The only way I know how to eat these is a dozen at a time fighting to the death against my cousins and brothers to stuff my face to the max. It’s a struggle because I still do that even though there is zero competition and a very full gordita belly para cuidar.

Ropa Vieja is that old-school love.

CREDIT: @CocoandAsh / Twitter

An actual national dish of Cuba and honorary dish of Puerto Rico. The shredded beef is in a sofrito sauce that is sweeter than most other dishes and it’s smell will attract islanders like a moth to a flame.

Flan de coco, man.

CREDIT: @505Nomad / Twitter

As far as I know, every other one of my Boricua family members cannot physically do dairy (but they do it anyway to the horror of anyone having to breathe the same air). Maybe that’s why our flan is made from coconut milk. Maybe it’s because we’re from a tropical paradise of coconut trees. Who can say which came first?

And of course, arroz con leche.

CREDIT: @anime_freak2004 / Twitter

This dish came from our invading nation of Spain, but Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic make it with coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. Plus, the raisins are soaked in good Puerto Rican rum.

You don’t have to go to the mother island to make a Puerto Rican, Dominican or Cuban salivate though.

CREDIT: @jess_cahhh / Twitter

Whip out a Kern’s Nectar of any variety and we’ll be talking you up and down until we can have a sip of that tropics-infused sugar water. After all, all this food makes us salivate for home and sometimes that feeling of nostalgia (on or off brand) is all we need to hit the spot.


READ: Check Out These Croqueta Recipes If You Need Some Good Cuban Comfort Food

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