Hispanic Delicacies Surface During Quarantine


Gaby Ruelas

A sample of Teresa’s Mexican cooking during the quarantine.

Gaby Ruelas, Studio D Writer

Ever had Mexican food? Well if you haven’t it’s delicious, especially my mom’s (Teresa’s) cooking. We are going to look into Teresa’s Hispanic cooking only it’s a bit different now because of struggles during quarantine.


Deep-Fried Quesadillas

At first, when there wasn’t any COVID-19, Teresa was cooking simple, yet delicious, dishes like the ones you see in Mexican restaurants. She used to use a large number of various ingredients to make big amounts of food for our family. Now she uses fewer ingredients and less of those ingredients and makes smaller amounts of food.  Also, she cooks more often than before. “I cook more at home, but I use fewer ingredients than before because of trying to do social distancing to take care of ourselves,” said Teresa while organizing her ingredients.


Types of Hispanic Food

There are many different types of Hispanic foods. Some are sweet, others are spicy, salty, or savory. A few of them are:

Tamales- Cornmeal paste or masa wrapped in corn or banana husks (the wrapper) and often stuffed with chicken, cheese, chilies and cheese, pork or turkey, then steamed

Flautas- Deep fried, stuffed corn tortillas and are filled with chicken, cheese, or beef and are topped off with sour cream or guacamole

Deep-Fried Quesadillas- Cornmeal paste or masa deep-fried with a filling of cheese with sour cream and cheese on top with avocado, lettuce, and chilly sauce on the side

Elote- Grilled corn

Corn or Maíz- Dried corn with usually lime, salt, mayo, cheese, and tajin (This is how I eat it)

Traditional Cooking in my Family

In my family, we have a few traditions with food that we do every year. To me, they are very special and it wouldn’t feel the same if we stopped doing them. With that being said, some food traditions are:

On New Years we make Pozole (Pozole is a traditional soup/ stew from Mexican cuisine. It contains hominy, pork or chicken, potatoes, carrot, etc.)

On January 6 or Dia de Los Reyes Magos, we eat Rosca de Reyes and make Chocolate Abuelita. Rosca de Reyes is a Hispanic pastry and Chocolate Abuelita is like chocolate milk, but the milk is usually heated on a stove and you must use Chocolate Abuelita (A brand of chocolate) and the chocolate melts in the milk while someone stirs it on the stove while still heating.

On January 24 or my birthday, we always make Carne Asada. Carne Asada is a dish of grilled beef, usually skirt steak, sirloin steak, tenderloin steak, or rib steak.

On July 20, My brother’s birthday, we always make hamburgers and hotdogs.

December 24 and 25 or Christmas Eve and Christmas, we always make tamales. Cheese tamales for the kids and cheese and chilly and chicken ones for the adults. We also make abuelitos(a type of tamale that has only masa).

Lastly, whenever my Abuelita or Grandma comes from Mexico she brings us many treats like Mexican chips, Mexican candy, Mexican cheese, Mexican Pumpkin seeds, Mexican bread, etc.


Teresa’s Opinion on Food

When I interviewed my mother, I asked her about the many memories I have of her in the kitchen.  When asked about her thoughts about her own cooking and what her favorite Mexican foods were, she responded, “I think it’s easy to make, quick to make, and delicious, and it would have to be either Tacos de adobada or Tamales.” (I personally think Tamales are better!)My mother took a moment to discuss the meaning of food to her and the way she feels about it in connection to our family.  She said, “To me, meals are a special time where we get together to eat food I have prepared or in another case a time when we can cook together.” My mother’s sister Nancy also loves her cooking and stated that her deep-fried quesadillas were her absolute favorite.


Finally I spoke to two friends about how COVID-19 has affected their options of Mexican food. Bridgette Arana, DMS student, said that she has started to eat more Mexican food, while Victoria Amaro said that she doesn’t go out to eat at Mexican restaurants. “When my grandma makes a lot of food, we go over to her house.”  Both young women discussed ways that the quarantine has changed the way their families eat, and while many Hispanic foods are easy to prepare and can be done by a middle school student, it’s so much better having a parent at home who can really cook.