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OK, now let’s get started. As seen in the Spanish words of the week, the Spanish word “galletas” means both “cookies” and “crackers”. It is my belief that this is because of the amount of sugar put in their cookies.
Let me explain what I mean exactly — I personally have a massive sweet tooth. I usually eat at the very least one and sometimes two desserts after dinner. Because of this habit, “Tengo que hacer mucho ejercicio” (I have to do a lot of exercise) to keep the pounds off. When I lived in different parts of Latin America for almost two years, I would have such intense cravings for good homemade cookies or cakes that I would sometimes have friends or relatives send them to me from the U.S. because Latin American cookies are really so different.
The first time I had a taste of a cookie south of the U.S. border, I was genuinely shocked. At first I thought someone had forgotten to add the sugar. They also tasted a little bland like the salt had also maybe been left out. With a desire to be polite, I did not say anything but simply made my face look like I was really enjoying the cookie. I felt bad for the cook who must have been so embarrassed after leaving out most of the sugar and salt.
The next time I ate cookies at someone’s house the exact same thing occurred again. This is about the time when my craving for sweets began to grow and grow. Soon I was desperate for some sweet cookies! I immediately went to a pastry shop (which had some truly exquisite bread, by the way) and ordered several different kinds of delicious-looking cookies hoping that at least one of them would be sweet. Much to my disappointment, they tasted mostly all the same.
It was then that I realized why the word for cookies and crackers is nearly the same — they both have the same LOW amount of sugar!
What I have not decided is if Americans put too much sugar in our cookies or if Latin Americans do not put in enough sugar in theirs? If any of you international subscribers have an unbiased opinion on this “important” matter, please write in and let us know.
In the meantime, the next time you are on a trip to Latin America, if you have a real sweet tooth for cookies like I do, here is what I suggest you try:
- Do your best to avoid cookies altogether and maybe eat candy, pie or ice-cream.
- Maybe bring some packages of Kool Aid. (Maybe Kool Aid will pay us for advertising their name in our newsletter!!)
- Have your friends or relatives send you some cookies in advance. (We’ll talk about how to send things to Latin America by mail in a later issue.)
Get a hotel room that is equipped with a kitchenette. (This way you can make your own delicious cookies.)Learn Spanish, Spanish Culture, Spanish Words