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Culture, Featured, Secrets & Lies

I don’t like to be called “Honey”

April 8, 2017

…and neither does the Ataulfo Mango

I can’t tell you how many times I have been called Lisa, Melissa, Alissa, and, even, Carissa when various adults have had to read my name, Nissa, aloud. The very existence of the name Nissa (pronounced Niss like kiss with the soft “a” pronounced like uh = Nissuh) baffles most Americans. Most people pronounce it like Lisa, fearing the mallet of mispronunciation, but I never mind when people mess up my name. In fact, half the world calls me Nee-sa because it’s easier for many of the world’s tongues. Many cultures struggle with the pronunciation of the sharp “i”. What I do mind is when, in order to avoid saying it wrong, they refuse to try. I imagine it’s all fear-based—fear of sounding stupid, fear of making a mistake. Whatever the case may be, it’s time for all of us to get to know each other’s names along with the accents and cultures they come from. To sound silly is a worthwhile sacrifice to make when learning new words—to try is to connect in all of our humanness. As Americans, we need rise to the challenge and embrace diversity in all its forms. To embrace, and celebrate, diversity is to be on the right side of history. We can start as simply as confronting our fear of mispronunciation, getting to know names we deem too ethnic and too unusual.

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Culture, Featured, Kitchen

Sinaloa Hot Sauce: What Grows Together, Goes Together

May 23, 2016

 Habenro Sauce Mango Rice Bowl

Saucy & Sweet

Mangoes are one of the biggest agricultural products from Sinaloa, Mexico. In the U.S., mango consumption peaks in the summertime, which coincides with the peak production of mangoes in the Sinaloa region. America’s massive mango demand makes them one of the most important products in Mexico. Empaque Don Jorge, the packinghouse for El Grupo Crespo and home of Crespo Organic Mangoes, is located in Rosario, also an important habanero production zone. Habaneros were one of the first crops and exports for El Grupo Crespo, originally a chili pepper business started in 1960 for the local market.

Chilies are one of Mexico’s heritage crops and habaneros are the chili of choice in Sinaloa. Brought over for agricultural production from the Yucatan area, habaneros were discovered to grow very well in and around Rosario, producing a good amount of heat (but not as much as in other production zones ), registering between 200,000-300,000 on the Scoville scale, on average and having a specific almost tropical taste. The great yields, coupled with the exquisite flavor profile that resulted from the area, led way to Rosario’s booming habanero industry.

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