History of Rompope A Christmas Holiday Drink

¡Salud! [Photographs: María del Mar Sacasa]
From seriouseats.com

Rompope is an eggnog-like drink made with eggsmilk, and vanilla flavouring. The egg yolks impart a yellow hue to the emulsified beverage. It is a traditional drink known as such in Costa RicaEl Salvador and particularly in Mexico, where, it is believed to have been originally made in the convents of the city of Puebla. The word rompope is a derivation of the word rompon, which is used to describe the Spanish version of eggnog that came to Mexico. The Spanish version utilizes rum as its main ingredient, hence the root of both words rom-pon and rom-pope, but in Central America, Guatemala,Honduras and El Salvador, there is also a similar beverage known as rompopo.

Seriouseats.com -The first rompope was brewed by nuns in the Santa Clara convent in Puebla, Mexico in the 17th century, a derivation of Spanish ponche de huevo. At the time, the Catholic Church was prominent in government and society, and convents often hosted visiting officials and religious dignitaries. As such, fine cuisine was developed in the cloisters with the Clarists garnering much acclaim for their confections and sweets.

Rompope is served chilled, often over ice, but, the drink is also popular in Nicaragua, where it is served warm as well.  READ MORE

Learn about the Puerto Rican Holiday Drink Coquito and See Recipe

Latin Wedding: Menu Planning & Traditions

Photo By Armando Estrada

For the history and traditions of Latin Weddings, there is a great website called Worldly Weddings. If you ever find yourself stepping outside the box of your cultural traditions or marrying inter-culturally then Wordly Weddings is the place to go on the web for various cultural norm info.

The Latino wedding reception is family oriented and festive. For the bridal couple’s first dance, guests will gather in a heart-shaped ring at the reception around the couple. Salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, and samba music add a festive Latin flare to the reception. For appetizers, try pasteles, Puerto Rican meat patties, or empanadas, Colombian pastries stuffed with meat and vegetables. Spanish tapas make perfect appetizers. Other must-have dishes include rice and beans, paella, arroz con pollo or chicken with rice, and fried plantains. READ MORE

Up Close & Personal with Director Peter Bratt

See part one of the  Interview with Peter Bratt(Click Here).  He talks about his cultural background and intra-racial discrimination.

It Matters: International Manners & Etiquette

manners

It is not safe to assume that your way is the right when you are abroad.  The expression, “When in Rome…” sheds light on the general rule about manners when abroad.  Believe it or not in many countries including Tanzania, Brazil and Mexico showing up early for dinner is considered rude.  Ever wondered why some countries do not use a fork or knife?  Believe it or not once upon a time many Asian and African countries thought it rude to use weapons(a knife) while dining.  European use of the knife to eat was thought to be barbaric.   In efforts to improve table etiquette Europeans rounded the table knife edge and added a fork and spoon to the dining experience. Part Two of this series will include France, Switzerland, the Philippines, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.  MCCN spotlights International  Manners (Click Here to view article on International Manners) for Tanzania, India, Japan, Mexico and Brazil in part one.

Tanzania

In many African countries dinner is done without cutlery, with the right hand, from a communal dish or dishes.  Expect Muslims to say grace before dining.

  •  It is considered pretentious to use forks or knives to eat Chapati or Ugali.
  •  If eating on a mat or carpet, do not expose the sole of your foot, it is considered very rude.
  •  Children may eat with the adults if instructed to do so.
  • Many Tanzanian table manners are similar to British table manners.
  •  It is considered rude to talk or laugh with food in your mouth.
  •  Let the host know how good the meal is, but don’t exaggerate; it might be taken the wrong way.
  •  Avoid touching your face, nose, ears and hair while eating.
  •  It is rude to drink beer straight from the bottle; you are expected to pour it into a glass.
  • In some regions like Zanzibar, some dinner tables are gender-segregated.

India

Like many African countries, food is expected to be eaten with the right hand. It is fine to use the left hand to pass the dish.

  • It is acceptable, and many times, even expected, not to use cutlery for eating, as many foods – such as Indian breads and curry – are commonly eaten in this manner.
  •  Wash hands thoroughly before sitting at the table as some Indian foods are primarily eaten by hand. Also, wash hands after eating the food. Usually, a finger bowl (with luke warm water and lemon) is served to each person for rinsing fingers.
  •  In North India, when eating curry, the sauce must not be allowed to stain the fingers – only the fingertips are used.
  •  When flat breads such as chapati, roti, or naan are served with the meal, it is acceptable and expected to use pieces of them to gather food and sop-up sauces and curries.
  • In South India, it is acceptable to use the hand up to the second segment of the fingers (middle phalanx till the interphalangeal joint) and the first segment of the thumb (distal phalanx) to pick up food. In South Indian culture, the four fingers are used only to pick up or spoon the food. The thumb is the digit used to push the meal into the mouth. It is considered rude if all five digits are used to place food into the mouth.
  •  It is considered inappropriate to use your fingers to share food from someone else’s plate once you have started using your own. Instead, ask for a clean spoon to transfer the food from the common dish to your plate.
  •  It is not necessary to taste each and every dish prepared, but you must finish everything on your plate as it is considered respectful. For that reason, put only as much food on your plate as you can eat.
  •  As most of the Indian delicacies are eaten with the hands, it is necessary to make sure that one’s drinking glass should not become messy.

* Do not leave the table until others have finished or the host requests you. If you must, ask permission from the host before leavin

 

Japan

Click Here For How to Use Chopsticks

how to use chopsticks

Some Table Rules

* Blowing your nose in public, and especially at the table, is considered bad manners.
* It is considered good manners to empty your dishes to the last grain of rice.
* Talking about toilet related and similarly unappetizing topics during or before a meal is not appreciated by most people.
* Unlike in some other parts of East Asia, it is considered bad manner to burp.
* After eating, try to move all your dishes back to the same position they were at the start of the meal. This includes replacing the lids on dishes and putting your chopsticks on the chopstick holder or back into their paper slip.

Drinking rules

When drinking alcoholic beverages, it is customary to serve each other, rather than pouring your own beverage. Periodically check your friends’ cups and refill their drinks if their cups are getting empty. Likewise, if someone wants to serve you more alcohol, you should quickly empty your glass and hold it towards that person.

 

Brazil

From an early age, children are taught to follow proper table manners. It’s a good idea to learn some of these manners before taking a trip to Brazil.

Read more: How to Follow Brazilian Table Manners | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2228058_follow-brazilian-table-manners.html#ixzz0tWKDnlRJ

Mexico

Mexico is certainly a place where is a lot more regard for formality.  Here are some pointers:

If you are invited to a Mexican’s home:

  • Arrive 30 minutes late in most places (check with colleagues to see if you should arrive later than that).
  •  Arriving on time or early is considered inappropriate.
  •  At a large party you may introduce yourself.
  •  At a smaller gathering the host usually handles the introductions.

Learn More:  http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/mexico-country-profile.html

 

Carmelo Anthony and LaLa Valaquez Wed


Longtime couple NBA player Carmelo Anthony and former MTV VJ Lala Vasquez Wed.  Read More about the Latin couple’s cultural story at the MCCN HOME. Also Read how gal pal Kim Kardashian helped Vasquez prepare for the big day.

Zoe Saldana Shines in “The Losers”

Film Critic Michaeal Fusco says Zoe Saldana is the scene stealer in “The Losers”.  

 Click Here For: Film and Foodie Review “The Losers” – Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Chris Evans and Columbus Short also star.

The History and Passion For Tamales

THE HISTORY

A tamale or more correctly, tamal (Spanish tamal, from Classical Nahuatl tamalli) is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa (a starchy dough, often corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be further filled with meats, cheese, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned. READ MORE

THE PASSION

Legendary Actress Lupe Ontiveros talks about her passion of tamales as comfort food.

Director Peter Bratt Talks About Latino Diversity Issues

MCCN’s Erika L. Holmes is of Puerto Rican and Panamanian descent; after hearing Peter Bratt (Director of “La Mission” and brother of actor Benjamin Bratt) speak at 2010 NALIP she then poses a question to him about diversity issues within the Latin Community.  Watch this telling video.

Cesar E. Chavez Day

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday was established by Los Angeles volunteers who organized and led the effort in California that won Cesar Chavez Day, the first legal state holiday and day of service and learning in honor of farm worker leader Cesar E. Chavez.  The legal holiday bill introduced by then State Senator Richard Polanco (Los Angeles-D) was signed into law by then Governor Gray Davis (D) on August 18, 2000. The holiday is celebrated in California on Cesar E. Chavez’s birthday March 31st.  This marked the first time that a labor leader or Latino has been honored with a public legal holiday.

The California legal holiday set into motion a wave of initiatives resulting in optional and commemorative Cesar Chavez Days in nine additional states (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.)

Cesar Chavez Day brings together hundreds of thousands who engage in celebrations, service and learning projects, and other actions that further the many causes which Cesar Chavez worked for.

*Chávez was a vegan because he believed in animal rights and also for his health.