Tag Archives: cafe con leche

Like Vagina Monologues – FOR FOOD?!

San Francisco Premiere @ Rrazz RoomI was also intrigued! When I met Peggy Sweeney McDonald, creator of “Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde…,” she described her show as follows:

“It’s like the Vagina Monologues of FOOD!”

Right away, I thought, “Wow. That’s sounds interesting – in more ways than one.” Then two very exciting things happened. 1) She told me the San Francisco premiere was in March and 2) She asked me if I wanted to join the list of “headliners!” The excitement of telling a childhood story about FOOD pushed out any nervous voices saying, “uh…this is at the Rrazz Room! uh, you’re not an actor or a stand up comic…uh….SHHHHHH!”

I’m doing it! Come see me and others, including comedian, Michael Capozzola…if you dare (or if you just love good stories about food). Mine will be about my 5 moms and coffee!

Details & tix:

Meanwhile, back at Cafe Du Monde…

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 (doors open at 6:30 pm/Show starts at 7:30pm

Rrazz Room

322 Mason Street


For more details and tix:



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Filed under cooking, food, foodie scene san francisco

Don’t Call it a Latté

Cuban coffee

Cafe Bustelo con la cafetera

“Isn’t a café con leche the same as a latté?” asks my gringo husband – this mind you after listening to countless stories about my grandma’s famous café con leché and tasting it on multiple occasions.

“No, No, No” I say with a Cuban accent. “It’s definitely not the same. How can you say that?!”

Growing up, I would have a café con leché, which simply translates to coffee with milk, first thing in the morning or anytime I walked into my grandma’s house for a visit. Mind you, first thing in the morning went all the way back to when I started school – like pre-K. Yes, Cubans give their small children strong coffee…with lots of evaporated milk and sugar. To this day, I can have coffee any time of the day and night and fall right to sleep. Grandma (abuela) helped build an immunity to the well-known effects of coffee.

Bustelo, the brand I’ve seen in my family’s cupboard for ever, is “strong and powerful” as described by the family who has been producing it since 1865. Mixed with evaporated milk and organic brown sugar (these days), it is so delicious. The main difference (aside from pure taste) between a Starbucks-style latté and a Cuban café con leché is that a latté, you take on the run, while the café con leché means we’re about to sit down and talk, converse, gossip or just enjoy laughing over something silly.

The best of these conversations is always with my abuela. “Fulano” (fulano means so-and-so in Cuban slang) is coming from Cuba, graduating from college, getting a dog, having a baby…whatever the family gossip was at the moment, it would be discussed over a piping hot, sugary sweet, unforgettably scented café con leché. On better days, it was accompanied by toasted Cuban bread and melted real butter.

I haven’t made café con leché for myself in a while, but yesterday, I found a spunky-looking cafetera (Cuban espresso maker) at Marshall’s for $5.00! The Bustelo was already in my pantry, waiting for its partner in crime – la cafetera. I just made some for me and some company – que rico!

Get yourself a cafetera and give it a try. Here’s a good step-by-step on how to make it the authentic way. They sell Bustelo in most grocery stores. Just don’t call it a latté!


Filed under cooking 101