The sights, the smells, the flavors! Remembering that special memory of mama’s kitchen –  or any loved one’s cocina!

“Everytime I walk past a grilled cheese shop, I immediately am taken back to my auntie’s kitchen as a child.”

Thank you to our friends at Latin Post for sharing these wonderful video stories about food, memory and that special someone that cooks for you. Whether it is mama, abuelita, tia, or tio — hear as these Latinas and Latinos remember the aromas, recall the flavors, and the delightful memories of that special dish.

Voice Latina Staff share favorite memories of their special dishes…

Patricia: I remember as a child that it was difficult moving to the U.S. from South America. It was a stressful time for me as I adjusted to school and my dad to his job. A good way to relax was my parents inviting friends and their kids over on the weekend. No special occasion, but it always turned into a party. There was always lots of laughter and music. Everyone danced, told jokes, and had a great time. The kids were part of the fun too. My mom would prepare something special so every time I knew by the smell in the kitchen early in the morning that the preparation had begun for what would be a terrific time!

Bolivian Stuffed Potatoes (Papas Rellenas)


5 medium potatoes 2 hard-boiled eggs
2 raw eggs 5 lb. ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup small raisins
½ cup of flour 2 onions (1 med 1 small)
Water Olive oil
1 cup of cooked peas 2 packets of Sazon Goya
2 tablespoons of tomato paste Cumin


Prepare the potatoes: wash, peel, and boil in salted water until cooked. Drain, mash, and leave to cool.

Prepare the filling: Chop medium onion and brown in 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, cumin, and 2 packets of Sazon Goya. Add ½ cup of water and mix. Cook and drain fat. Add peas, raisins, 2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped).

Prepare the batter: Mix flour, pinch of salt, and enough water to make a thin batter. Add raw egg. Mix.

Stuff Potatoes: Take palm-sized amount of potato and flatten. Make indentation and add filling leaving room to fold potato over the filling. Press the edges closed creating an oval shape. Carefully form ball in your hand. Coat frying pan with oil and heat. Dip potato balls in batter covering completely. With a spoon carefully place the potato ball in the hot oil (make sure there is enough oil do it doesn’t stick). Brown on each side.

Red sauce to serve over potatoes: In a small saucepan, add oil, finely chopped small onion, salt pepper to taste, cumin, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and ¾ cup of water. Stir and cook over low heat until thickened. Spoon a little sauce over potatoes.

We welcome our readers to also share a story or a recipe (#Gusto) on how you connect to your Latinidad through food!

Michael: One of my favorite dishses is pupusas, a popular Salvadoran dish. My mother is from El Salvador, although ironically she doesn’t make pupusas I’ve been fortunate enough to have aunts and Salvadoran friends who know how to make different types of pupusas. For those unfamiliar with pupusas, it’s a thick corn tortilla with various options filled inside. I’m usually a picky eater, but I was told to think of pupusas as pizza without the marinara or tomato sauce. I tried pupusas with just cheese inside and I was instantly hooked. I later learned you can have pupusas with beans or certain meats inside as well.

I would always remember going to my Salvadoran aunts’ homes where their apartments were always packed with family and friends because it was that time of the month when they made pupusas. Unfortunately one of those aunts passed away a few years ago, but I’ll remember she would always make sure my pupusas were treated with care and given the attention it deserved. I come from a family with mixed parents – my father is from the Dominican Republic – I was shown more of the Dominican culture than Salvadoran, but being introduced to pupusas in my early years was definitely a nice change to finally experiencing another culture.

Diana: Spring and Easter are my fondest childhood memory. Not only is it a time of renewal and light, in many Dominican households you bake and make many dishes that you only have during this time of year. ‘Candied Beans’ with butter with galletas de Maria. The dish itself takes more than half the day to make. As a kid, I watched my great-aunt mix the concoction in a big oval saucepan with cardamon, cinnamon, allspice and all other kinds of spices to get that sweet and tangy taste.

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