From My Ranch to your Home
December 4, 2019 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Nothing says Christmas in Mexico like Atole and Buñuelos, (Atole is a corn meal/masa hot drink and buñuelos are fried dough, dipped in sugary syrup with cinnamon) prepared here by Doña Angela from De Mi Rancho a Tu Cocina. Doña Angela (Youtube, FB, Insta) is a star, She started her channel only a few months ago, showing viewers how to make traditional Mexican recipes from her rustic kitchen in Michoacan, Mexico. She has millions of viewers and is beloved by Mexican media for her unpretentious grandmotherly vibe.

Youtube channel
Doña Angela will also show you how to make:
Enchiladas like they make them in Michoacan.
Classics like Chile Rellenos
Steak and Cactus
on her hot fired comal. She uses traditional implements found in Michoacan kitchens.

Doña Angela’s rise to stardom
By October she was already a major media force, having reached 1M subscribers after being online for just a couple months. The YouTube awards are proudly displayed in her new videos, and she and her daughter made a whole unboxing video about them. The video also has her showing off her ofrenda for Dia de Muertos. She is a viral sensation in Mexico:
Univision video - in Spanish
La Voz de Michoacan - in Spanish

as well as the US:
LA Taco: How an Abuelita Cooking on Her Wood-fired Stove from Her Rancho in Michoacán is Going Viral on Youtube
MiTu: YouTube Has A New Star In This Abuelita Who Is Sharing Her Traditional Mexican Recipes With The World

Michoacan gastronomy
Doña Angela comes from Mexico’s heartland, the agricultural state of Michoacan. This is the heart of Mexican cooking and its combination of indigenous cuisine with worldwide influences was called out specifically in UNESCO naming Michoacan cuisine an intangible cultural heritage

(Note: This was a collaborative post with Nelson. Thanks Nelson!)
posted by vacapinta (13 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Neat! I found out about atole very recently through this article on Serious Eats, and am looking forward to seeing other ways of making it. (I tried all three of the variants suggested and they were all extremely good.)
posted by asperity at 9:05 AM on December 4, 2019

What's the difference between buñuelos and churros, does anybody know?
posted by praemunire at 9:25 AM on December 4, 2019

Thank you so much for writing this, vacapinta. I've been amazed at the huge growth of this Youtube channel. It went from brand new to absolutely enormous in mere weeks. From what I've been able to read the growth is entirely natural and organic, there's a lot of people who just enjoy watching Doña Angela cook. Her sincerity and the simplicity of her kitchen are definitely striking to me, they make me nostalgic for an abuela I've never had.

I first learned about the show when NPR had a piece on it last month.

One thing I couldn't find much on; the production details. It presents as this very humble, natural, simple show. "I pointed the camera at mother cooking and here she is." But the reality has to be more complex. Doña Angela is super well organized and pretty much never makes mistakes, I imagine she's rehearsed and loosely scripted. The camerawork and lighting are clear and great. So is the editing. I don't mean to suggest anything strange about this, the show is just as authentic as it presents itself. But there's some very high quality work going on to make such a great and simple-seeming result.

Also I just can't stop watching her patting out tortillas like it's no big thing. That's years of experience there.
posted by Nelson at 9:53 AM on December 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I started watching her a few months ago after I had exhausted Chef John’s backlog and felt sufficiently caught up on both Babish and Townsend’s. Her videos are fascinating in that I don’t speak much Spanish beyond finding the bathroom, ordering a beer and maybe insulting a mother, yet I can follow well enough to cook most of what she makes.

One question remains, though: How many people is she cooking for? Near as I can tell, the official number is between 1 and 25.
posted by drivingmenuts at 10:33 AM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pro Tip: Wait about a week and some kind soul will have done an English translation into the CC options.

Really love watching her cook and you can sense certain through lines on the recipes. And speaking of experienced hands (re: tortilla making) - she's got some tough hands because it makes me squeamish every time she cuts an onion in her hand, toward her hand!
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I dearly love this channel and I barely understand a word of Spanish. It's kind of fun sometimes to puzzle out what she's making without an English caption. There's definitely some editing and smoothing over of the rough patches, but I think most of it comes down to someone who's just a stone cold expert. She must have decades and decades of experience making this food all day, every day, for large groups of people.
posted by ssmith at 12:09 PM on December 4, 2019

She’s just lovely. My grandma lived with us for like ten years and I would watch her cook sometimes. I think about her every time I make caldo de res, or arroz con pollo. I miss my Abue.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 3:58 PM on December 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

The minor-ly interesting thing for me is that I never ate Mexican food growing up (my grandmother was a Yankee). I had it for the first time somewhere in my 20s (San Angelo, TX, I think) and now, i have to have it at least once every two weeks. Sometimes 3 or 4 times a week.
posted by drivingmenuts at 5:30 PM on December 4, 2019

Buñuelos are one of those things I never learned to make myself but I sorely miss from my childhood, although for my family they were always more of a New Year's thing than Christmas. Aside from shape, churros are a very different thing--piped from something that I feel like is very close to being more of a batter than a dough, though I'm not sure where the technical distinction is there. There's eggs in them, usually, I think? Buñuelos were at least for us an almost identical formulation to our flour tortilla recipe, just then shaped and cooked differently.

As a child, I felt like I could totally eat dozens of the things and was usually wrong, but I certainly tried.
posted by Sequence at 8:38 PM on December 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I feel so lucky being able to peek into this rancho. I have had some success in adapting some of her techniques to mi cochina. Roasted chiles and onions and tomatoes in the blender. And watching her make a tortilla kind of blew my mind.
posted by Jode at 2:48 AM on December 5, 2019

What's the difference between buñuelos and churros, does anybody know?

Churros are piped pastry dough, bunyuelos appear to be a very plain bread dough made into tortillas.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:29 AM on December 5, 2019

There's a new episode every few days; today it's 10+ gallons of pozole rojo. I've never seen someone nixtamalize their own corn before! Also interesting she's using a couple of Chile Peron.

Like drewbage1847 says, someone usually volunteers a decent set of English subtitles in a week or so after a video is put up. The machine translation subs aren't great but I manage to muddle through with my tiny bit of Spanish. I particularly like the idiosyncracy that the machine captions the sound of her pouring or stirring food as "[Applause]". It's as if her ingredients are cheering for her.
posted by Nelson at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love her channel!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:56 AM on December 6, 2019

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