Oct 31, 2014

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Latina Cooking Blogs – A Mix of Tradition and Technology

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Blogger Gina Ruiz and her grandma Doña Lupe

Even Latina bloggers who don’t consider themselves “food bloggers,” often touch upon the topic and even share recipes. The conversation continues into social media – messages fly back and forth on Twitter and Facebook until everyone is left wanting everything from Salvadoran pupusas, Venezuelan arepas and Mexican tamales to Dominican mangú, Cuban lechon asado, and foods popular throughout Latin America such as pastel de tres leches. The very mention of the beloved foods brings about memories and cravings.

This is the modern history of Latin cooking and culture in the making. In the past, generations of women passed recipes down from abuela or madre to hija or nieta, (or even nuera),  in the kitchen, side-by-side – but things have changed. Extended families no longer live in the same household, let alone the same country. Method and measurement can not be conveyed over the telephone. Language barriers also make explaining recipes more difficult. Even those fluent in Spanish may struggle to decipher unfamiliar or colloquial terms. Finding the ingredients in the United States is yet another challenge, especially for those who live in less urban areas, away from bodegas and international markets.

In a society where marriage between Latinos and non-Latinos is becoming increasingly common, women who marry into the culture are at even more of a disadvantage. While wanting to cook familiar meals for their husband and pass traditions onto their children, a woman who is raised in an Anglo family must rely on her new mother-in-law to teach her the recipes; that’s if the mother-in-law cares to cooperate, which isn’t always the case. The mother-in-law may enjoy the advantage of being able to provide something for her son and grandchildren that her new daughter-in-law cannot.

Enter the internet. Now a simple search in English or Spanish brings up thousands of authentic Latin American recipes complete with tips, photos and even video. Traditions and culture with origins that date back to pre-Columbian times are being kept alive by the use of modern technology.

Many Latina food bloggers began their blogs on the premise of preserving family recipes which until now, have primarily been passed on orally.

“The collection of recipes represents three-generations of cooking — my grandma’s, my mom’s, and my sister and my Latin inspired dishes,” said Yvette Marquez about the recipes on her blog, Muy Bueno Cookbook.

These recipes are now printed in homes around the world, placed in strangers’ personal cookbooks and E-mailed amongst friends.

When asked how she felt about her family recipes being shared with complete strangers, Leslie Límon of LaCocinadeLeslie.com said, “…like good food – [recipes]  are meant to be shared, not hidden away at the bottom of a drawer.”

Silvia Martinez of MamaLatinaTips.com agreed, saying, “I’m glad other people get to try the food we love so much.”

One blogger, Clementina, who is known for the beautiful stories she weaves into her recipes on A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate, summed it up with her signature eloquence:

“For far too long, we have been told that our food is unhealthy, that cooking the way our mothers do represents our oppression or subjugation to macho men, that it has no place in the life of a modern woman, that it makes us fat—wrong, wrong, wrong. It is a healthful, and may I say without apology, a world class cuisine, 500 years in the making. A delicious fusion of the Old World and the New. Going back to la cocina and learning the ways of our antepasadas [those who came before us] will not just fill our stomachs, but our corazón. Mine may not be the most comprehensive Mexican food blog out there, but that’s okay. It is a love letter to the woman who was my mother and to my familia, to my friends.” – Clementina of A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate.

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A handful of Latina food bloggers were selected to answer questions as part of my research. I also asked them for their favorite recipe. Special thanks to:

Silvia, MamaLatinaTips.com
Recipe: Silvia’s Mexican Tuna Salad

Yvette, MuyBuenoCookbook.wordpress.com
Recipe: Enchiladas Verdes

Leslie, LaCocinaDeLeslie.com
Recipe: Picadillo

Clementina, TazaDeChocolate.Blogspot.com
Recipe: Zacatecas style mole

¿Quieres más?

Check out the “food” category of the Latina blog directory, Blogs by Latinas.

You can also visit Latina On A Mission where Latina food bloggers participating in Sabroso Saturdays link up their recipes.


Tracy López is a writer living outside the D.C. Metro area. Her blog, Latinaish.com, examines cultural differences she discovers as she navigates life in a bicultural, bilingual family. She can also be reached via Twitter @Latinaish.

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Tracy López

Tracy López

Tracy is a writer living outside the D.C. Metro area. Her blog, Latinaish.com, examines cultural differences she discovers as she navigates life in a bicultural, bilingual family.

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Comments

  1. Ay Tracy this is beautiful in so many ways! Thank you for talking about food and the Latino world with such love and appreciation. That´s why the saying “barriga llena, corazón contento!” is so so so true for our delicious food and the way it connects us to our roots.
    And thanks for the great blog suggestions! I´ll definitely be visiting them for recipes! Un abrazo amiga. :)

  2. GREAT collection of Latina bloggers! Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes and blogs. Such talented ladies out there!!! Looking forward to getting to know them ALL!

  3. Tracy as always a delight to read your words, thanks for writing about our food and our blogs, you rock!!

  4. Silvia, Yvette & Sue – Thanks so much for reading this. I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s a beautiful topic – from its old-fashioned roots to the modern day. Some may wonder what I could find beautiful about technology taking the place of actual human contact —- and true, that is a great loss — but the beauty is that strangers like us can become friends, share precious things like an abuela’s recipe with such generosity, and that those recipes have found a way to survive for the next generation despite the circumstances.

  5. Tracy, thank you for highlighting the people who write about our great cuisine. These writers are wonderful!

    I need to add Marta from My Big Fat Cuban Family: http://www.mybigfatcubanfamily.com/

    And she has a Cuban foods cookbook by the same title:
    http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/264536?ce=blurb_ew&utm_source=widget

    And, we regularly post her recipes and others on the Tiki Tiki, too.

  6. I just found your site. I was homesick for my father’s cooking…and found you from the wonderful “Abuelita’s Cooking Blog.” I’m sure I’ll return. Thanks, peace,

    Diane Solis

  7. Thank you for including my Sabroso Saturday blog hop! Because of all the recipes that have been linked up, I’ve learned to make a slew of new dishes. My sons are loving it! They said they feel like I’ve opened my own Sabroso restaurant LOL

  8. love the recipe and website, i will come back here more often!!

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