The Lenten season is upon us! Catholics all over the world are making sacrifices and taking the next 40 days to reflect. I'm Catholic so growing up this was a big deal. Well, kind of. We did the major things, we didn't eat meat on Fridays and we started out with good intentions on giving up something for Lent, but halfway through we forgot about it. With Lent came the usual menu. Lentils, these kind of like potato pancakes and fish. For dessert there was only one choice- capirotada.

If you don't know what capirotada is, let me enlighten you. It's basically a bread pudding. It's toasted bolillo bread, a syrup that's made of piloncillo, which is brown sugar cane! It's got cinnamon, vanilla and topped with peanuts, pecans, raisins (which I hate), shredded coconut, sprinkles and some shredded cheese. It's all baked together making your house smell like the inside of the Pillsbury Doughboy's armpit or, alternatively, it smells like a panaderia gone wild.

It's extremely sweet! Have you ever been tested for diabetes? They make you drink this glucose drink that they tell you tastes like Coca-Cola but it does not! THAT'S WHAT CAPIROTADA TASTES LIKE! It's just too sweet for me. Granted, I'm not a sweets person, I'm a salty girl. But seriously, if you don't get diabetes after eating this bread pudding, you lived to die another day.

My mom of course made some for this Ash Wednesday:

Joanna Barba
Joanna Barba

It looks very appetizing, I know. Apparently, my mom makes a great capirotada because every year for Lent, she gets requests from friends and family for her to make them some. My grandpa absolutely loves it- he's 87 years old and diabetic he probably shouldn't be eating it, but who am I to say no to my grandpa? This year, my mom even made some for some of my co-workers.

Every year I think to myself; "Maybe this year I'll like it. Maybe my palette has changed and this year I won't think it's too sweet." So I tried it. Yeah, not my favorite, but it did remind me of my grandma so that was nice.

If you actually enjoy this, why? I can live without this, but I know that for the next 40 days, I'll be seeing a lot of capirotada. But, for the most part, can we just admit that it's not good? Thank you for coming to my TED talk.




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