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{All Around Latin America} Tamales + Churros in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is a weird concept to me. It’s placed in the middle of two months, seemingly random, and lacking a real or formal acknowledgement and pep rally from the culture masses. It’s bad enough Black History Month gets only 28 days; but at least we’re offered documentaries, a plethora of articles and profile features; I think even some presidents have participated in notable events. HHM, on the other hand, barely makes a mark in the name of applause and recognition of a culture and group of people who make this country as rich as it is. Not even for increasing our information data base.

I used to run this culinary series on Flanboyant Eats (when it was a stand alone blog, before House of Bren)– All Around Latin America Culinary Exploration  — from 2011-2015 because I felt my readers would love to know more about the different Latin countries and the cuisine all 21 boast.  Some of my Latina food blogging friends were amazing and contributed every year with their bounty of recipes and cultural anecdotes. While I didn’t table the series intentionally, the break did give me an opportunity to fall back and observe in more detail some of the great things those same friends were doing. and become a bit more in tuned with the concept of this celebratory month. Politics aside, the increasing vital need for our stories to be told ushered back in my passion for sharing theirs; even if it’s through a recipe. For so many of us, our food is what keeps us connected to our roots, but also serves as a conduit to understanding our distinct culture, traditions and people.

I do it for the culture.

For the next 3 weeks, I’ll be sharing my LatinX friends’ recipes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Only this time, instead of one daily, each of them will share one recipe that’s tried and true the face of their country and one that speaks to their personal culinary POV. I’m excited to see what they share but also eager for you to get to know these special people.

To kick off this year’s All Around Latin America culinary exploration series, my friend Ericka came in strong with her two recipes. I’m looking forward to making the tamales and hope you’ll make them, too! Check out her blog and follow her on social. She’s cool peeps!

Ericka Sanchez | Nibbles & Feasts

Ericka has been writing at Nibbles + Feasts since we met, almost 8 years ago. I remember how we truly connected in person during a social media conference in Miami — first just recognizing each other from our FB profiles at a meet + greet and then later speaking on a panel at the same conference on the nature of food blogging. We hit it off, naturally. Her love and passion for her Mexican roots and heritage seep through her food, for sure, but also in the way she celebrates life. She pays homage to the colorful textures and palates we all love about Mexican culture in just about everything she does. Unlike a lot of diverse bloggers I know and have worked with, Ericka is all about the Mexican cuisine. Her blog features very traditional recipes we all like ordering but don’t  get to properly relish (b/c you know… somehow, our American dining culture waters down the true grit of a people) but also her updated take on her favorite dishes she grew up eating. What I love most: she’s passing down all of her families’ traditions to her son, whom I’ve basically seen grow up through this thing called social media. Got love social! I’m thankful for our bond after all these years and hope to break bread again with her IRL soon!

For this year’s All Around Latin America culinary series, Ericka kicks it off with two recipes the rep her the best. I’m looking forward to making the tamales and hope you’ll make them, too! Check out her blog and follow her on social. She’s cool peeps!

FOR DINNER

As soon as the Mexican Independence Day celebration ends, tamal season begins in my home. This is the time to gather and prep for the many feasts to come during the cold winter months. Cheese, potato and poblano tamales have been as popular as the traditional red chile pork tamales the last few years. For me and my family, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to gather, celebrate and bring awareness to our culture and the positive impact past generations of Hispanos have contributed.  It is a time to teach my nine year old son, future generations, what it means to be Hispanic in America today. During the tamalada, our family gathering for tamal prep, we reminisce about our history and how our family migrated to America.  It is a time for story-telling and most of all, creating memories.
FOR DESSERT

Homemade churros are very special.  They are a sweet street treat that can be purchased at any panaderia in Los Angeles these days.  But when you make them at home, you know a celebration is about to happen.  Churros cannot be complete without a cup of creamy sipping chocolate.  This version has a kick of cayenne chile powder to balance out the sweetness.  Perfect for that mid afternoon craving. 

Grab both of Ericka’s recipes on her site. You’ll be glad I took you there!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with me and my friends! See more recipes from the Hispanic diaspora via the link below. ¡Buen Provecho, mi gente!

*food images c/o Ericka Sanchez

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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