Wednesday, July 29, 2015

9. Mantequilla


I was eight years old when I had my first encounter with mantequilla. It was in a corner of my grandfather's gas-fueled fridge -- this red can with a plastic cap. My grandfather said I could spread it over bread and I did. It lit up my face after the first bite and henceforth it did wonders to my breakfasts, humble or otherwise. When I got married and I had the chance to do groceries with my wife, I was amused to see this product again, the red can with plastic cup, still in the same  trade dress after all these years.  When most butters are sold as blocks or sticks, this one the deviant red can, presents itself as butter in a container. I dip a knife into it and scrape off a portion, spread it on hot bread. It melts and that familiar creamy, salty, light-textured, semi-solid, semi-liquid indulgence caresses my tongue. I wash it off with coffee and the memory of the mantequilla of my youth -- and probably my grandfather's too -- brings all those feelings back, a legacy that can be passed on to the next generation of butter fans. Never mind the hypertension.

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