Introducing the Hispanic Lettuce

Throughout a long and not-necessarily successful career covering all-things Hispanic, I’ve encountered all kinds of marketing tactics pitching “culturally-relevant” products to Latinos.

I have been particularly impressed with Kellogg’s honey-flavored Corn Flakes, Oreo’s cream-filled churros, Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza and even the one and only Hispanic cheese.

However, of all the things out there making us, Latinos, feel right at home here in the U.S., the Hispanic lettuce (found this weekend at a Harlem bodega) takes the cake. Besides, how much do you think this bodega owner spent on targeted media?

Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem, NYC

‘Hispanic Santa’ Wears Sombrero, Whacks a Piñata


Marketers are one audacious bunch.

Take the people of Festified Holiday Clothing, who took some time this week to send this blogger a sales pitch for their upcoming Feliz Navidad sweater line, featuring “multicultural Santa” (i.e. Hispanic and Black).

The $65 Feliz Navidad sweater (mind you, it’s discounted from $70) features “Hispanic Santa,” which in case you were wondering, is Hispanic because he’s brown faced and is holding a stick to whack a piñata.

Now, if piñatas and sombreros are not your thing, you can also go for the Men’s Lighted Multicultural Black Santa, who is — well — just black, though if you asked me, doesn’t look as merry as the Hispanic one.MLMCSVBL_Lighted_Multi_Cultured_Santa_Vest_Mens_Black_Support1__17105.1411346860.1280.1280

To be fair, the marketing people behind these things were honest enough to acknowledge right off the bat that these sweaters are ugly.

Not racist, they say, just ugly.

Oh well.

CLICK on the photo below to see the full pitch. It’s gold!

El pitch
El pitch



Amazon Is Under the Impression there is a ‘Hispanic Flag’

hispanicrootsI don’t want to rain on your Hispanic Heritage Month parade, but I felt this urge to let you know there is a Hispanic-Flag-themed thing going on on the Internet.

I will NOT name the culprit (OK, it’s but there are these T Shirts currently on sale promising to mix your “Americanness” with a flag of your choice, including of course the Hispanic Flag. Because, Why-The-Hell-Not?

The only good news is that these beauties (most likely Made in China or Made in El Salvador) are only $19.99, and RETURNS ARE FREE.

See for yourself…



Mainstream Media ‘Discovers’ Coke’s Embarrassing Mexico Ad; Coke Takes Video Down, Refuses to Make Comments

White, wealthy Mexican hipsters bring Coke -- and hope -- to Mixe community in Oaxaca.
White, wealthy Mexican hipsters bring Coke — and hope — to Mixe community in Oaxaca.

Remember this blog’s posting from Nov. 26, 2015?

Not many people paid attention then, I know. It kind of went unnoticed for a while, as I suspect a lot of you, people, were busy eating turkey or crushing fellow shoppers to get a discounted OLED TV or whatever it is you do on Thanksgiving Weekend.

Fortunately, a few independent blogs, including my compadres at Latino Rebels and other high-profile writers did pay attention and the brouhaha finally blew up con Coca-Cola’s face right around Tuesday Dec. 1, 2015. This was the day when the soft drinks giant decided to pull its ad from YouTube — or more accurately decided to “make it private,” so that neither you or me would have to see that horror again.

Here are only a few of the articles posted by mainstream media on the issue –in chronological order:

Telesur: Nov. 26

The Washington Post, Dec. 1

The Associated Press, Dec. 1

Horizontal: Dec. 1

The Guardian, Dec. 1

Univision Noticias, Dec. 2

See? I knew I was not crazy (or at least I’m not THAT crazy.) This sh•t was so out of whack that it needed to be stopped — or at least made it private, so Coca-Cola and its Mexican agency, can go on and pursue their creative advertising prizes or whatever it is they do.

Just, please, leave the Mixe community alone, will you?

I wish you didn’t have to see this again, but in case you missed it, this blogger’s friends at Latino Rebels have you covered

Looks Like Mexican-Spanish Cuisine is a ‘Thing’ in the U.S.

Call me crazy, but last time I checked, Spanish cuisine had absolutely nothing to do with the cuisine of my forefathers (i.e. the Mexicans).

I mean, we cannot even agree on what the hell a tortilla is all about, so WTH?

Anyhow, I guess I shouldn’t be that shocked, after all this time living on this side of the border, the country that has given us the Fritos Enchilada Melt and the $10 non-taco tacos, among many other horrors.

So let’s welcome yet one more nonsensical ethnic meal and, ¡coño! ¡que viva la comida Hispano-Mexicana!

Brooklyn ‘Mexican’ Cantina Serves Mix of Stereotypes & Typos

Mad Dog & Beans, Brooklyn, NY
Mad Dog & Beans, Brooklyn, NY

Mad Dog & Beans, a new eatery in Brooklyn, has found inspiration in the Mexican Revolution to peddle upscale Mexican food to a local crowd. The eatery, first spotted by a non-Mexican colleague of mine, features on its door the image of a bandito holding a guitar, because even Mexican outlaws are a musical, cheerful bunch.

According to the restaurant’s website:

Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina is a casual-upscale Mexican restaurant featuring a traditional Mexican menu. The theme is based on the Mexican Revolution. The decor features vintage black-and-white photos of banditos and scenes of Mexico printed on canvas and displayed throughout the restaurant. 

The menu, while not especially original, does feature some interesting spelling, including “molcajeta” and “pica de gallo.”

Now, that’s revolutionary!


Photo and sombrero tip: J. Falcone

OMG, you Guys! The ‘Hispanic Wal-Mart’ is Shutting Down

mas-club-logoOn the heels of the unshocking announcement that CNN Latino is to shut down later this month, more bad news about Hispanic things are coming to the Hispanic world of Hispanics in the U.S.

According to The Packer, a trade publication you’ve probably never heard of, Wal-Mart plans to pull the plug on its lone Más Club pilot store.

In case you don’t know, Más Club was an 87,000-square-foot warehouse store (similar to a Sam’s Club) but carried more Hispanic-focused products, presumably Hispanic cheese, Mexican Coke, Cuban sandwiches, Pringles TortillasHispanic lettuce and the like. A Hispanic Sam’s Club if you will.

This is a bummer, because I guess my people will have to settle for shopping at a regular, non-Latino Wal-Mart. But hey! Not everything is sad news: Very soon, we will be able to get our entertainment from Variety Latino, and not from the regular Variety. And if this doesn’t cheer us up enough, we should always remember that 2014 has been coined as the Year of the Latino by Fox News Latino.

¡Sí, señor!

[In the meantime, I will backtrack on a previous plan to change the name of this blog to Latino Mi blog es tu blog. I’m sure it will not last one week under that moniker.

J.C. Penney Wants you to Have a Very Happy ‘Tamalegiving’

And you? Do you imagine a Thanksgiving full of tamales?
And you? Do you imagine a Thanksgiving Day with a lot of tamales?

In the latest installment of the “How to Turn your Gringo Holiday into a Relevant Latino Holiday,” series, I give you Tamalegiving, a simple -yet delicious- way to turn Thanksgiving Day into Tamalegiving Day instead.

Watch a very cute, acculturated Guatemalan-American kid saying “guácala” to his mom’s gallina as he makes his case for a Thanksgiving full of tamales. Oh, sí.

Alas, I’m more of a ‘Tacogiving’ type of person. But hey, that’s me!

Happy Tamalegiving, pues!

hat tip: Betti Ortega

Looking for a Place to Fix Your Latino Computer?

Photo: Laura Martínez/Silver Spring, MD

In an increasingly Latinoized USA, we have seen (and this blog has dutifully documented) the birth of the Hispanic cheese; the deliciously weird tortilla-flavored chocolates; the Mexican Coca-Cola and even a Hispanic lettuce to go with your Hispanic tuna and your Hispanic mayonnaise.

So it was just a matter of time before small business owners jumped on the Latino wagon to create culturally-relevant businesses, like this computer store and Internet service outlet I spotted last weekend in Silver Spring, MD.

Puerto Rican Man in New York, Pissed Because ‘Hispanic’ Is Not a Race

I thought I had heard everything about the 2010 Census, including NALEO’s efforts to get us off our tía’s couch and the Jesus-Caesar Augustus connection. But this one takes the cake: Turns out a Puerto Rican security guard in Bronx, New York, this week refused to fill out his Census form, because “Hispanic” was not an option under the Race box.

“For me to see this I feel kind of offended,” Richard Robles told WPIX.

And, why wouldn’t he? After all, for reasons I yet have to understand, the U.S. Census considers “Vietnamese,” “Korean” and “Japanese” a race. So, continuing that logic: If Korean people are of the “Korean race”, and “Vietnamese” people are from the “Vietnamese race,” I urge Mr. Robles’ to check himself as a proud member of the Puerto Rican race.

As for myself, I was truly offended “Human” was not an option; so I had to use the “Some other race –print race” space to spell out N.P.I. (Ni Pinche Idea)