April 19, 2011

Sabor de Soledad - Part I

In my lifelong quest to be more like Andy Rooney, "Sabor de Soledad" is a new column in which I will share amusing, food-related items from the internet with you. If you have any suggestions, send them to me at hally.thornton@gmail.com

In writing my recipe for Potato Tacos with Romesco Sauce and Pickled Red Onions (post coming tomorrow!) I make mention of certain Mexican candies I grew up eating. I decided to Google "Mexican candy" to see what some of the ingredients in my faves were and whether or not they are vegan. (A lot of them apparently contain lead, which explains so, so much....) I stumbled across this web site called The Latin Products, a shopping destination for food, cooking utensils, cleaning products and everything "Latin". 

Let me preface this by saying that I have always been a big fan of things that get a bit... lost in translation. One clear memory from a trip my sister and I took to Europe a few years back is a sign in the B&B where we stayed in Florence. It gently asked of the guests: "Close you sweetly every door." So poetic, so adorable. I also have an amazing user's manual that came with a mini-TV I won at an office holiday party. The TV was manufactured in Japan and the manual was written by someone who obviously spoke English as a second language (or third... maybe forth?). The TV is long gone, but I've held on to that manual with a vengeance, because it is the funniest thing I've ever read!

Well, it may have competition now. The descriptions on The Latin Products web site itself are generally grammatically correct and straightforward. But there is a strange "blog" associated with The Latin Products on which someone waxes poetic about some of the things they sell, and they do so in a way that has me positively spellbound. SPELLBOUND.

I'm scared!
Take, for example, the De La Rosa Giant Marshmallows (my comments in italics):

"Giant Marshmallows: Get Tempted Looking Along Their Length" Nice headline. Way to pull the readers in.

"The De La Rosa Marshmallow is practically the largest you will ever come across. Size is not the main issue here, though, but the savor is. Even before you open the packet, your nostrils are teased by the tempting aroma of these De La Rosa Marshmallows. Once you open the packet, all you feel like doing is just sit on the couch all day long as you enjoy your favorite marshmallows while watching your favorite show." I just like the visual of nostrils being teased. Moving on...

"If you are bored with the monotony of having cake, ice cream or fruits for dessert after a sumptuous meal, the De La Rosa Marshmallows is the only way to go. This snack of giant marshmallows is more than just perfect for desserts. What’s more, it is a sweet tasting candy that even kids will enjoy eating! Make them eat as much as they can, and turn them into sweet-toothed kids. Its fun you know!Whaaaaa?! Guess it's a step  up from shoving lead in their mouths, but holy crap!

"The De La Rosa Marshmallow is a snack that has all goodness wrapped up in its sugary form. Pick one up and take some time to push it into your mouth until its full length is in your mouth. Don’t wolf it down as you may lose its original taste as you hustle." I am reading this at work and every time I read it again I can barely stop myself from laughing so hard as to make people worry. WHOA!

I mean it just goes on and on! They sort of make it seem like each post is written by a different person, but it's confusing. "Someone else" with a stronger grasp on the English language, but no obvious sense of decency, writes about these mutant marshmallows:

"These are such large marshmallows that sometimes it’s difficult to get your mouth around the whole thing. My kids play a game called Chubby Bunny with them, where you put one large marshmallow in your mouth and say the words “chubby bunny.” A friend does the same thing, and then you put a second large marshmallow in your mouth without chewing the first one. Continue this until one person’s mouth is so full it is impossible to get the words out." I can't get the words out... you've rendered me speechless, Latin Products.

What's in that cup, Granny?
Let's not forget this sensual description of Abuelita's Mexican Chocolate:

"My personal favorite way to use Abuelita Mexican chocolate is to enjoy it as a warm drink on those winter nights to drive the chill away.  It is indeed a divine feeling to hold the tumbler of that delicious drink and sip it up till the last drop. Not to mention that freaky attempt of extending my tongue out and wait patiently till I enjoy that last drop which just refuses to come. As I cannot restrain my craze to taste such scrumptious delights made with Abuelita chocolate, I never feel bad for doing such mad tricks. After all, it boils down to anything for the Abuelita chocolate." You talk about your grandma with that mouth?!?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the site here and let me know what other gems you uncover. I'm going to try to scrub myself clean in the shower now. <shudder>


  1. Dang. I was going to talk about the lost-in-translation stuff from Costa Rica, but it's just cute and nowhere near as funny as what you found! Dave and I just chuckled when we were in CR because almost all the restaurants boasted the best "typical food" in town. Because I generally like to travel thousands of miles to find typical anything. :)

  2. And from the blog:

    "A corn husk wraps up the tamale to hold in the flavor as it is cooked. What you get after that is a steamy, mouthwatering tamale that will satisfy your entire family. You can feel the freshness with your very first bite.

    The possibilities are endless when you cook your tamales in an imported corn husk.

    Everybody who thrusts one of these hot tamales into their mouth will be begging you on their knees for your recipe."

  3. Ummm... is there such a thing as cooking a tamale WITHOUT a corn husk? LOL! They make everything seem so novel, like they invented it. Love it!

  4. So funny Schmee!! I had forgotten about those signs in Florence, but they were so cute! The marshmallow description you shared nearly made me crap myself with glee. I love starting the day out with soiled undies. :P Hey, its a little off the subject, but remember that website you, me, & Shell used to frequent called Bad Candy where they reviewed the most disgusting candy they could find, complete with detailed descriptions of the gnarly bodily functions that ensued afterward? Here a link for your enjoyment:


    Love you!!

  5. How in the world did I forget about Bad Candy? That is some funny shiitake, I can't believe I used to willingly eat some of the candy they review! I think Chamoy ("Has. Vegetable. Salty.") and Tamarind have to be my favorite entries. Too bad they didnd't keep it going!

  6. You have to wonder if the writer isn't an American that happens to speak Spanish in a non-english speaking work place with no one to check his work - Maybe that the hot chocolate Gramma is the writer and THAT is why she has that look on her face!!

  7. Haha I love those theories, Jess! I may try to get a writing job in a foreign country to pull off a similar ruse!