Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

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Coquito y Empanadas!

For the past 23 Christmases I have been able to share the joyous holiday spirit with my lovely wife.

We combine two very different Hispanic cultures and customs.

To outsiders, Hispanics all seem to be the same because we share the same language from the mother country of Spain, Hispanics vary widely in words, customs and traditions.

Caribbean Hispanics differ from Central American Hispanics, and those differ immensely from South American Hispanics.

To compound the issue further, there are smaller subsets of those major groups that also differ from each other. But it is that diversity that strengthens us.

The blend of Hispanic traditions and cultures is huge in my family.

My wife hails from the northern part of Puerto Rico — the Bronx. (I kid.) Yes, she was born in the Bronx, but her Puerto Rican heritage is strong and forged by very many long summer vacations in Puerto Rico.

For my part, I was born in Argentina, the southernmost of Hispanics. I lived many years of my childhood in Argentina.

So through marriage we combined our cultures and traditions and no place is it more apparent than during the holidays.

From the pernil and pasteles at Thanksgiving to the asado on Christmas Eve, foods blend and bring together the cultures.

So this Christmas, like so many before, I proudly make a Coquito recipe entrusted to me by my wife’s aunt from Puerto Rico and I also will indulge in a batch of my Mom’s Argentine empanadas.

But, of course, I will share with friends. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas y Feliz Navidad!

About Food: The Place to be Was Always The Kitchen

Growing up in a household and family where so much revolved around the kitchen stays with you forever, and I owe my cooking chops and style to the women in my family, especially my mother and her sisters.

When asked to talk about how I learned to cook and who influenced me most, it took me back to my childhood and how social it was when my mom and aunts prepared meals for the family. The kitchen was the best place to be, not only for food but to catch up on family, history, and gossip.

I try to continue this with my own kids and encourage them to make meals, experiment and be together as a family at as many meals as possible. I am happy to share these experiences and memories with Fi2W and my fellow hosts of About Men Radio.

What is your story?

This multimedia piece was produced for the “Coming to the Table” series from Feet In Two Worlds.

Go! Go! GOAL!

I am facing a real dilemma. A quandary! Maybe even a predicament…

Okay, I might be overstating things a bit, it’s not like I’m losing sleep or anything like that but I can see this becoming a real problem.

I haven’t decided on what country to root for in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me! Not a day goes by that I don’t get asked, “Yo, Kaiser! Who you backing in the Cup?” or “Hey, Kaiser, you got your [insert country name here] jersey ready to go?” It’s becoming a real nuisance.

I know people from pretty much all over the planet and I’d hate to disappoint any of them by not backing their country. Heck, just today I received this note from a colleague:

You should always be for Brazil and Portugal unless they play each other. When Brazil plays Portugal you should be for Portugal. If Portugal loses at least it was to Brazil so you cry a bit but then always go celebrate Brazil’s victory anyway.

This is obviously serious business.

Any wannabe Captain Americas out there who, after reading this, want to get all up in my grill for not automatically supporting the U.S. of A. should just slow their roll. Have you seen the other countries in their grouping?!?!

Of course this whole bit of business would be a moot point if Puerto Rico ever qualified for the tournament. Don’t laugh, it could happen sooner than you think! Those in the know are beginning to recognize Puerto Rico’s soccer potential. The national team has made great strides over the past decade and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they made a serious run for a tournament bid in 2022.

Okay, maybe by 2026.

Getting back to my current plight I considered choosing a team by their jerseys but none of them wowed me. I thought I’d pick a team by whichever player had the best nickname but I was underwhelmed by most—although “Chicharito” almost sealed the deal for Mexico.

What I settled on was to just go down the list of groupings and eliminate any team that had even the remotest connection to anyone I knew. That left only one obvious choice for El Kaiser to root for.

Go get ’em, CÔTE D’IVOIRE!

I look terrible in orange but at least I won’t get any hard stares from friends or family.

And now for your listening pleasure, the best World Cup anthem EVER recorded!