You can never write a review on special moments

Ever since I was a one-year-old, everything I touched was new to me. Like most young kids, but unlike others, I had a sense of good taste. 

For the first few years of living with my family, I was never picky. I liked all things I could get a hold of and the one thing I loved the most was the delicious taste of new foods. There was never a time when I’d throw carrots or peas at my parents or cry and fuss because I didn’t like something. I’ve always grown up with a liking to all tastes. 

As I’ve gotten older, different meals and types of foods have been introduced to me, and most of the time my mom cooks those meals. She has made enchiladas and supreme wrapped tacos–kind of like Taco Bell but better. Most of the time, I enjoy what she makes. 

My favorite meal that she cooked was a Guatemalan dinner. Now she’s never cooked a Guatemalan menu before, but for my sixteenth birthday she did. The best way I can describe it was like every bite brought color and life to my mouth. The variety of textures and new smells made everything on the table look like a true Guatemalan meal–and it was just my mom’s style. 

It was so simple and all of the flavors warmed me from the inside out, making it that much more meaningful to eat. ”

That day my mom had put together arroz con pollo chapina–a dish with chicken, green peas, onion, tomatoes, and carrots, as well as buñuelos, pollo en jocon (green chicken stew), and plantains. There was so much more, but those dishes stood out to me and filled me up the most. Out of those, the buñuelos, was my go-to; it’s a Spanish dessert with a dipping sauce like syrup–the Spanish version of churros. Ultimately, I was eating my dessert before my main plate and there’s no complaining about that. I remember standing by the counter watching her fry the dough and as I watched—there were no two buñuelos that looked alike. 

I could feel the warmth flow through my mouth as the smooth layer of sweet sauce lay in my throat–and it didn’t stop there. The tingling of cilantro sauce and tangy tomatillo made me feel like I was experiencing a new kind of food–pollo con chapina. It was so simple and all of the flavors warmed me from the inside out, making it that much more meaningful to eat. 

As I sat there with not a single crumb leftover, I was filled with all different kinds of emotions. My parents have always been supportive of the idea of introducing me to all sorts of things from my culture, but I’ve truly been blessed with a mom willing to recreate the food from where I came from. 

I don’t usually react to my dislikes, but when I do it’s no big deal, as I love almost everything that’s in front of me. If someone asked me to pick a number from 1-10 or place my golden stars on what was on the table that day, I would give the food the highest rating possible. Someday, I want to enhance that talent on the stove, oven, or cutting board as I’d like to be as good as my mom. 

I could never rate my mom’s cooking, but she truly has a special touch when she cooks. Even if it’s something new that she’s never made before, she’ll always check with everyone if it’s good, and the vast majority of the time it is. I will always remember this Guatemalan meal as I thank God for placing me in this family and for allowing me to share these special moments and gifts with the people I love.