Herencia’a Story – The Story Behind the Brand
I named this book Herencia Cookbook because it is a tribute to my culture and identity, which is the best herencia my parents could have ever given me. My father, Monchi, is Mexican-American. My mother, Rose, is Salvadorian-American. They met in Los Angeles, in English school, and quickly fell in love. They have been together nearly 4 decades and have taught me with their words and example what it means to be hard-working, committed, determined, and confident. Most importantly, they taught me how to be a proud Latina.
As an adult, I met and married my husband, El Willy, who is Salvadorian-American. We hope we can teach our children to be hard-working, determined, confident, and so much more. Most importantly, I hope my husband and I can teach our children to be proud of their roots as well. I hope that this book can serve as my own small contribution to pay homage to my culture, which I love and cherish so deeply.
The idea for Herencia Cookbook fluttered in my heart for a long time. However, between working full time, going to the gym, mindlessly scrolling through memes, and enjoying a social life, it was hard to find the time to sit down and write the book. Thankfully, my own pregnancy provided me the space to write. My pregnancy has proven to be a blessing to me in so many ways.
During my pregnancy, I was subject to a bit of bed rest, which allowed me to slow down and really focus on writing this book. The more progress I made, the more excited I became. I considered my son’s due date to be my deadline to complete this book. Therefore, you can say that my son has been my biggest motivator, since before he was even born.
If my son was my biggest motivator, then my family members were my biggest supporters: my husband, my father, my in-laws, and most of all, my beloved mother. I cannot tell you how many times Mama Rose and I sat down together to write out recipes; how difficult it was to come up with precise measurements. After all, so many of the Latinas in my life, myself included, are used to cooking by “eyeballing” ingredients and following our intuition.
As my mother and I made progress, my belly grew, and our mother-daughter bond grew stronger than ever.
I self-published this book because it is so personal to me. In the process, I started my publishing company and named it Rosette Publications. It is a combination of my mom’s name and my name. My goal was to show our special connection.
I was named after Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, France, who saw the Virgin Mary 18 times. The first time she saw her was on February 11, 1858. My mother, Rose, was born exactly one century after that miracle. My mom felt a special connection to Saint Bernadette’s story and the lessons her story offered. Therefore, Mama Rose promised the Virgin Mary she would, someday, name her daughter Bernadette.
I am the youngest of 5 children. I have two brothers and two sisters. Each one of us has a special story for how our name was chosen. For instance, at the excitement of my oldest sister, my mother named her after herself. My other sister, who is in the middle, was named her after my grandmother, at my father’s request.
When my mom was pregnant with me, her fifth and last child, she prayed for a girl, so that she could keep her promise to La Virgencita. I think I’ve been a jokester since conception because at every ultrasound my mother attended, I hid. I crossed my legs. Mooned the camera. You get the idea. The whole pregnancy, my parents wanted to know what they were having, but it was a surprise until I was born.
While my mother was pregnant with me, my father and his family were convinced I was a boy. They even referred to me as junior as I gestated in my mother’s belly. My mom had a hunch that I was a girl and hoped I was, due to her promise to La Virgencita. Mama tells me that she knew I would be her last child, and therefore, the urgency to keep her promise persisted in her heart.
A Transcendent Mother-Daughter Bond
Perhaps La Virgencita herself sent my mom signs that her hunch was spot on. One day, during her pregnancy, my mother shopped for groceries at a local market. At checkout, she noticed the cashier’s name tag. Bernadette. Until then, Mama Rose had never met anyone named Bernadette in her 30 years of life! Yet suddenly, here she was seeing the name right before her eyes. My mother smiled and took it as a sign that perhaps she would be able to keep her promise after all.
The story of my name is something my mom lovingly shares with me often and now I am so happy to share it with you. As you read through Herencia, I hope you can think fondly of the special bond that you may have with our own relatives, and how you have shown each other love through food. Here’s to celebrating our connection to our ancestors and culture through food.
Herencia Cookbook is currently available for sale on Amazon.