Justin "FavyFav" Favela and Emmanuel "Babelito" Ortega are with us. They're the co-hosts of the podcast, "Latinos Who Lunch."
As we enter the summer season, we thought we’d talk about food. Of course, anytime is a good time to talk about food.
“I automatically think carne asada time. Outdoor barbecue. Outdoor cookout. I always think of potlucks. The family getting together and bringing their signature dishes. Usually getting together in someone’s backyard or at a park. Usually – rice, beans, meat, chips, salsa and then whatever weird food each individual aunt or uncle brings to the table,” Favela said.
“We’re from the north. We’re from Chihuahua and Chihuahua is a cattle state and we have carne asada all year round. It could be freezing outside so my dad will bring the grill next to the sliding glass door in the kitchen and he just opens the door, flips the meat and closes the door again because it’s too cold. We eat the stuff all the time. We just eat it outdoors that’s the only difference,” Ortega said.
As far as the best way to prepare carne asada, Ortega said his family marinates the steak in orange juice, but Favela has another suggestion.
“Coca-Cola is a famous marinade. Because putting soda, especially brown soda – Coke or Pepsi – the acid in it breaks the meat down and then it also sweetens it at the same time,” he said.
“And when we cook it, we don’t cook it until its medium, where it’s pink inside, we burn that stuff,” Ortega added.
However you cook your favorite dish or whatever that favorite food is, Ortega and Favela agree that food is a way to bridge difference and unite people.
“For us, for the podcast, that’s how we break the ice. We’ll have a meal with our guests before we even turn on the microphones. Exactly for that reason, because we can all connect. Latino families everything happens around the table. Everything happens in the kitchen. For example, my family gets together every Friday and we hash out the whole week and we complain and we cry and we laugh," Ortega said.
Besides bringing people together, food is the way people show love.
“There is a signature dishes that each family member really enjoys and that is how my family shows love, ‘Hey, it’s Justin’s birthday. We’re going to make whatever fried thing Justin likes.’ So, it’s either tostadas or rolled tacos, taquitos, those my favorite,” Favela said.
Whatever you're making this summer, Favela has very strong feelings about tacos.
“First of all, tacos are always a good idea. Everybody loves tacos. It doesn’t matter tacos are amazing. But here are the dos and donts.
If you want to be this cool hipster who has a taco party and wants to earn points with their POC (people of color) friends great – have tacos. But DON’T pre-order the tacos from a restaurant, have them pre-made and taken to their house. By the time they get to the party, they are already going to be cold, the tortillas going to be soggy, the meat is going to be tough. Tacos are meant to be eaten right away OR set up a buffet-style thing where you have the tortillas heating, the meat is heating, the vegetables – whatever you want – then it’s a build-your-own-taco thing.
You can also get a taquero or taquera to come to your house and make tacos for a couple hundred bucks. They’ll make them fresh on the grill for your friends and that will really impress them.”
The guys from "Latinos who Lunch" have busy summers ahead of them. Ortega is moving to Chicago in August to teach at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Favela will be going to a conference in the Canary Islands to receive an emerging artists award. He will also be doing an art installation in Portland, Maine in June.
Even though they'll be busy, the podcast will continue.
Emmanuel Ortega, known as "Babelito" on the podcast, "Latinos Who Lunch"; Justin Favela, known as "Favyfav" on the podcast, "Latinos Who Lunch
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