The Definitive Latin American Food Rankings

I’m on a word limit here people, no time for a fancy intro, let’s get right to it. Ultimately, the question to answer is: If a friend told me that we were going to go eat a specific Latin American cuisine and they said, “hey we’re going to check out this really good [insert country [...]

The Price of Cebolla

Around the time I was contemplating the end of my grocery clerk career, Señor, a father of one of my high school friends, placed his grocery items on my black conveyor belt. Señor was a huge figure. His hands were so big his knuckles looked square like the side of a die. He had an [...]

The Baptism

It all started off right with the best possible Spring weather on a Sunday in the Big Easy, when more than accents clashed in a beautiful, harmonious dance of love and acceptance on the day a child was to be baptized. We arrived late and bothered since we didn’t have a place to park. As [...]

Suitcase Nuyorican

I haven’t tasted quenepas since that day in my childhood home, bare feet on linoleum flooring. Relatives had returned from a trip to Puerto Rico, suitcases lined with branches of quenepas and coils of morcilla. In my young awe, it was a care package bestowed on me from a distant place.  One to be treasured, [...]

Pies are Not WIC Approved

My má pushes the shopping cart filled with gallons of milk blocks of yellow cheese boxes of cornflakes and a baby carrier with the new and only son in the family. My younger sister holds on to the handle while Má tries to read the English words on the blue, tear-out coupons that are meant [...]

To Tamale or Not To Tamale

Making tamales is a team sport. And there’s no greater joy than the time of year la familia gathers around a table, spoons in hand — masa, ojas and fillings ready — to periodically talk chisme in between grandma and ma telling you the masa is too thin or you added too much filling to [...]

Hunger Pains

Friday night always brought one of two things: pizza or White Castle takeout. Reruns and new episodes of the latest sitcoms kept Joann company, as I wandered through the apartment, a book in hand, aware of how alone I felt. Papi was home, late at night, never while we were awake. His presence as real [...]

Disliking Puerto Rican food and the Possibility That I Might Not Be Hispanic

Flip through any anthology of Latino poetry and you’re going to find a whole bunch of references to food. I get a kick out of them because the people really take their Latino food seriously. The way they go in on their love of tamales, sofrito, and tostones makes you wonder whether they might be, [...]

Hardly Homemade

I don’t cook. Not homemade tortillas, not arroz con pollo, not albondigas, or tacos de lengua con cilantro y chile piquin. My husband and children do not come home to the enticing smell of simmering frijoles or caldo de res, and come Christmastime I’ve got the local bodega on speed dial to place my order [...]

Interview with Venessa Diaz

Venessa Diaz is a singer, actor, and writer, who is starring in her solo show Organic Sofrito or Other Recipes for Disaster this week in New York City. Venessa took some time in between rehearsals to grant us an interview and give us a glimpse into her life. 1.​ ​Please​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​yourself.​ ​What​ [...]

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