Things That Matter

She Broke The Internet With Her Recipe Videos And Now This Abuelita Is Being Recognized By YouTube

Remember Doña Angelita, the adorable Mexican abuelita who became internet famous by sharing her traditional recipes online? Well, she was recently recognized by YouTube as a leading influencer. And we can’t celebrate this enough! One of the things we love about online cultures when they are at their best is how everyday people who have extraordinary talents can share their uniqueness with the world. 

This amazing woman is now loved and respected by literally millions, as she has provided access to life un rural Mexico. Rural and indigenous Mexicans (and Latin Americans in general) are marginalized when it comes to sharing their lives on social media and becoming mainstream. So this case has helped spread the word on the awesomeness of traditional food and rustic cooking methods. 

She has also helped in the preservation of traditional recipes that can get lost if they are not properly archived: with her YouTube videos, she has made sure that the methods, ingredients and human touch of dishes that have been passed down generations of Mexicans are kept alive in the digital era. And we cannot thank her enough. La queremos mucho, Doña Angelita!

YouTube sent her two plaques to make her online popularity official.

Credit: De Mi Rancho A Tu Cocina / Facebook

In a photo that Doña Angelita shared in her official Facebook page we can see her holding two plaques with one of her granddaughters. The golden plaque is a real achievement: it states that her YouTube channel has surpassed 1,000,000 subscribers, not an easy feat at all! Just look at her proud smile, the product of many years of perfecting her culinary skills in silence and the pride of finally being able to share it with the help of her family. This is as authentic as it gets. And for those hipsters who love organic…. just look at the beautiful produce she uses in her food. 

She will soon reach two million subscribers! Sí se puede, sí se puede…

The latest count reads 1.53 million subscribers. Not bad at all! a few months ago this total superstar lived in anonymity in her native Michoacan, hiding two unique talents: great skill in keeping culinary tradition alive through old proven cooking methods, and a charm in front of the camera that is as spontaneous as it is relatable. We are sure that her popularity will just continue to subir como la espuma. We just hope that her work continues to be as authentic as it has been so far, and that it doesn’t get watered down with corporate sponsorships. But, come to think about it, we also want her to get what she deserves!

Because we can all remember an abuelita that looks like the sweet Doña Angelita.

Credit: De Mi Rancho A Tu Cocina / YouTube

One of the reasons why she has become such a star is that her charisma and tenderness reminds us of our own abuelitas or aunties who spent hours cleaning frijoles while chatting to us. Many of us remember the endless afternoons we spent watching our abuelitas stir a pot. For many Latinos, the first forays into the kitchen had to do with private cooking lessons from those strong, beautiful souls called abuelitas. These private lessons are a treasure that even Chef Gordon Ramsey would envy! 

Fame has also allowed her to fulfil some of her dreams!

Credit: De Mi Rancho A Tu Cocina / Facebook

And of course all this fame has come with some much deserved perks! Our favorite online celebrity was able to take her husband and her family to a beach holiday thanks to the support her YouTube channel has gotten. She had never been to the beach, and the photos she shared on her official Facebook page are beautiful, so joyous. It is things like this that make us believe in humanity again! 

And she gets her viejo to help with the cooking too! Her success is a communal, family effort.

Credit: De Mi Rancho A Tu Cocina / Facebook

Just look at this adorable moment. In her Facebook page Doña Angelita makes it clear that her success is not a one-woman-show. Her success is also a testament of the support and solidarity that many Latinos find in their immediate family. We also love how her success story counters gender stereotypes. Her story also defies the notion that once you are over 50 your working life, particularly if you are a woman, is over. Her success story also makes us wonder how many people with hidden talents are out there. We hope for many more of these viral personalities to emerge, as they are nice change considering the huge amount of empty and narcissistic messages floating around in the influencer industry.

The Guinness World Record For The Biggest Carnitas Taco Was Just Broken In Queretaro, Mexico

Culture

The Guinness World Record For The Biggest Carnitas Taco Was Just Broken In Queretaro, Mexico

@luisbnava / Twitter

Mexicans have been putting food inside a tortilla, folding it in half and calling it breakfast, lunch and dinner, since before the Popol Vuh came to be. Tacos are our love language, our most precious export to the world —ok maybe that’s an exaggeration… or is it? You could offer us caviar, pâté de foie gras, white truffles, oysters and we’d (rightly so) still choose a taco de carne asada. But there’s one Mexican among us all who loves tacos so much, he set out to make the world’s largest one. Stuffed with Carnitas, and weighing an exorbitant amount, Alejandro Paredes managed to produce the world’s biggest taco de carnitas. 

Queretaro is the record holder for the world’s largest taco de carnitas.

The state of Queretaro in Mexico earned the Guinness World Record for their gigantic taco de carnitas a few weeks ago. The monster-taco stretched to an entire city block, and measured 102 meters long (nearly 335 ft) and weighed 1,200 kilograms of tortillas (almost 3,000 lbs) and 1,507 kilograms of delicious carnitas (just over 3300 lbs).

Alejandro Paredes Resendiz is responsible for the carnitas-filled monstrosity. 

Credit: @luisbnava / Twitter

The organizer of the event came up with the idea in 2011, when he promised his uncle —the head of Queretaro’s gastronomical council— that he would make the world’s biggest carnitas taco. 

Apparently, the Guinness record committee declined several applications prior to Paredes’.

Alejandro Paredes said the Guinness organizing committee had already declined five previous applications for ‘the world’s biggest carnitas taco’, so he waited until he knew he could fulfill all the requirements necessary to qualify for a world record.  “We used certified workers with history in Querétaro,” said Paredes. “We complied with all the regulations of the Guinness contract. All of the carnitas were made today, everyone had the proper equipment and, most importantly, we shared the food with all who attended.”

Guinness World Records does not award prize money, but Paredes said that if they raise any money as a result of the record, it will be donated.

“If we earn even one peso, it will be donated to the DIF family services center, because Querétaro should be the best state in Latin America,” he said.

For Reséndiz, the achievement was not only a world record, but also a personal best.

“I broke my own record because the last taco I made was 75 meters long. It was registered, but not certified. I hope that all 1500 people can eat. We began at six in the morning and we won’t go home until the volunteers feed the visitors and the taco is gone,” he said.

The enormous taco fed 1500 attendees. It took more than 25 chefs and 150 gastronomy students to prepare the record-breaking feat. The huge team of cooks started preparing the food 12 hours prior to the assembly of the taco. 

Queretaro managed to take Guadalajara’s record. 

The 102 meter long taco, made in Queretaro, broke the record that had been set by Guadalajara with its 75 meter long taco a few years prior.

But why carnitas in Queretaro?

Credit: donmacizo / Instagram

In Mexico, each state has its own culinary traditions and local plates — ‘carnitas’ is not typical of Queretaro, so why did they decide to make this particular taco?

“I recognize that there are other states in the country, like Michoacán, where they make delicious carnitas, but here in Querétaro there are seven different styles,” Paredes said. Alejandro Paredes claims to have conducted a study to find our which food was most consumed in his state, and voila, he found out that the people of Queretaro love carnitas. 

Carnitas are made by cooking the different parts of the pig in giant copper or stainless steel pots. The meat is traditionally seasoned with a mineral salt called tequesquite, but there are many different regional variations.

Local tourist agencies, taqueros, and municipal authorities plan to share the news about the record-breaking event, to promote tourism in the area and to invite taco-lovers everywhere, from Mexico and the world, to visit Queretaro and try its delicious carnitas. 

Haters Gonna Hate: Vegan Mexican Restaurants Are Opening Up And The Backlash Is Next Level

Culture

Haters Gonna Hate: Vegan Mexican Restaurants Are Opening Up And The Backlash Is Next Level

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

It seems like vegan food is everywhere these days. From the fast food menus at Taco Bell, Burger Kind, and Carls Jr., to the grocery store shelves, it’s never been easier to try eating less meat.

For many people, veganism has seemed to be a diet of the privileged. It tends to have a reputation has being a bit more expensive and a little more difficult to follow than your typical diet – especially for Latinos – but from New Hampshire to Arizona and California, Latinos are embracing veganism with new restaurants.

And apparently, not everyone is happy about it.

First, what exactly is veganism?

Credit: Unsplash

Veganism is based upon eating a diet free from all animal products – typically this means no meat, no eggs, no dairy. Many people go vegan because of animal rights or to help the environment. But the largest reason cited by many people recently is because of their health.

Adults in the U.S. have a 40% chance of getting type 2 diabetes, but Hispanic and Latino adults have more than a 50% chance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Latinos also are at greater risk of developing diabetes at a younger age and getting complications like kidney failure and vision loss. The CDC says some of the factors contributing to this are genetics and the cultural value in eating meals high in fat and calories.

Ok, but like what does vegan Mexican food look like?

While most American vegan restaurants offer a few basic Mexican-inspired items, this new wave of Mexican-driven restaurants is reimagining classic Mexican recipes, the foods they grew up on, with plant-based ingredients.

Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, each have at least a few eateries or food trucks that are exclusively vegan Mexican. Across Southern California, there are a slew of options, including a vegan panaderia peddling traditional pastries.

The vegan Mex wave now seems to be sweeping Arizona.

Mi Vegana Madre expanded into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale last year. It offers vegan takes on carne asada, al pastor and nachos with a cashew cream-based cheese sauce. Another restaurant offering vegan Mexican and Mediterranean dishes opened in January a half-mile away. In September, a third place opened in Phoenix, also led by a Mexican American family.

But many people don’t realize that pre-Hispanic Mexicans – our Indigenous ancestors – ate a diet that was largely plant-based.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

While some may say veganizing is misappropriating Mexican food, the country’s indigenous natives actually ate mostly plant-based foods, according to Arellano. Colonizers from Spain irrevocably altered the food culture with introductions of beef, lamb and pork.

“They don’t realize, if you’re real Mexicans, you’re not supposed to be eating this meat in the first place because colonizers brought it over,” Gustavo Arellano said in an interview with KTLA. “I eat everything, but I’ll eat vegan Mex if it’s good.”

And books like Decolonize Your Diet by Luz Calvo, while not focused on veganism, help connect Latinos with their Indigenous roots through their diet. Many of the ingredients and recipes popular among Latino cultures today actually originated during Colonial times. So many are turning to the diets of their ancestors and many of those diets happen to be overwhelmingly plant-based.

Vegan Mexican food definitely seems to have its haters among the Latino community.

“That’s not real Mexican food,” ”My grandma would slap you” and “sellout” are just some of comments Jose and Leticia Gamiz received when they started their pop-up vegan Mexican food business, Mi Vegana Madre, four years ago.

People saw them doing something new and took it personally, Jose Gamiz said. “We even had somebody write (online) in Spanish, ‘They’re probably not even Mexican.’”

Despite the haters, the couple’s meat- and dairy-free endeavor has built a following. It’s part of a growing vegan Mexican food industry in the U.S. that has seen Latinos take control of the kitchen and plant-based Mexican cuisine increasingly plant roots in areas with large Latino communities.

Yet for some Latinos, going sin carne can still feel like a sin.

Linda Sepulveda, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, which has virtually no all-vegan Mexican restaurants, would find it hard to give up an omnivore’s life. Her house is always stocked with ground beef, tortillas and salsa.

Telling KTLA News, she said “I’m intrigued by (vegan Mexican), but I think a part of me knows it won’t taste the same,” she said. “We are always trying to find where we can add veggies, but there always has to be a main meat and everything else dresses it up.”

But all despite the haters, veganism seems to be on the rise all around the world.

Veganism is a rapidly growing movement – from just a few million in the early 90’s to around 550–950 million world wide as of last year. The search term for veganism has gone up by 550% according to google and veganism in the UK has risen over 300% in the last 5 years. But it’s not just limited to the US and the UK.

Even in Mexico, which many consider to be a country that loves its meat, veganism is on the rise. According to data collected by the Gourmet Show, a major Mexican food festival that showcases new products and highlights the latest trends in the gourmet food and drinks space, 20 percent of Mexicans identify as vegan or vegetarian. And, according to Maria Fernanda, manager of Villalobos Vegan Inc., the majority of these people are women, representing between 60-70 percent of this vegan demographic.