Latin Lunch

Crafts From the Past | Episode
Sep 15, 2023 | 5 min

Enjoy a Latin lunch and fall flowers with florist and chef Jacqueline Milian of Mammitas Coffee and Latin Cafe in Iowa City.


Jacqueline Milian: Look at every flower and it can look a little twisted and turned. But when you put it in the arrangement, every flower will show you exactly where it needs to be.



My mother was a florist in California for like 25 years. So we knew we kind of wanted to open up the flower shop, but in order to bring business in, we thought we'd open up a coffee shop.

Just to kind of, you know, get people to know who we were. But I told her, I don't want to just open up any coffee shop. I want to open up a Latin coffee shop.

My mom has been a florist for over 25 years, and I just kind of kept watching her growing up. And then she actually got really tickled when I said I was going to be a florist. She told my dad, 'Oh, my God. One of my kids is going to actually do what I did.'

Kind of use your imagination. We just start to piece it together here and it's crazy, but it's all a mess at first, and then it comes out to just be beautiful.

And I told my husband, 'What if nobody likes my food?'

And he said, 'Babe, we can't get our neighbors out of our house because they love our food. They love your food, so go for it.'

Horchata is something that I definitely wanted to incorporate because the funny thing is that you can have horchata and it tastes different from every country.

You go have have Mexican horchata, it's more like rice water. You go have have Salvadorian horchata, you know, we use some a little bit different stuff in it. So it just is different. We do our horchata mix, we mix it up so that it doesn't give any lumps in it.

It is our signature drink because we put coffee in our horchata and also during the summer my mother makes our horchata. Then add the milk.

One thing I like to do different that my competitors don't always do is mix the drinks for my customers, because I've heard a lot of people say, 'I hate when I go somewhere and all the flavor's at the bottom.' By the time they get to the top it's not mixed. So every single drink we make here, we mix.

Top with whipped cream. This one we add cinnamon because that's what horchata is all about. And then we add a dab of white chocolate.

The reason we called it Mammitas was because a lot of these recipes on my grandmother's recipes was from El Salvador. And we called her mammitas growing up.

A Cuban sandwich is actually made of Swiss cheese, honey ham, pulled pork, their Cuban sauce and Cuban bread.

My grandmother is no longer here, my father's passed away. So in order to be able to have their recipes and their foods come to life, is just another way of having them here with us.

The flan is actually my grandmother, mammitas' recipe. There's not many recipes that my mom had kept, and that was one of them.

And there's is definitely super, super good because flan, when people think of flan, I think you automatically think of Mexican flan and ours is a little bit different.

When you taste it, people will be like, 'Oh my gosh, this isn't what I thought because it doesn't taste like Mexican flan.'

And we're like, This is not, it's a Salvadorian flan, it's my mom and dad's recipes. So it's really good.

Like my mom actually makes it from scratch.