Just a small slice of (my) life right now: First, I have to mention two recent election results. The province of Ontario has a new premier – considered “unconventional” – from the PC party (Progressive Conservative); and Mexico just held a presidential election (via direct vote), favouring the candidate from the recently formed party MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional – National Regeneration Movement). People wanted change, and we have got it; are we going forward from here, or will the old ways just be resurrected? … Moving on to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Mexico played its last match on Monday July 2, with a final score of 0-2 against Brazil (and Japan lost 2-3 against Belgium); that means my World Cup fusion recipe posts have wrapped up, as well … While planning some of the dishes, I remembered that, as a promotion maybe two World Cups ago or so, I got this free sandwich baggie inside a package of Mexican sweet bread:
Bimbo™ (unfortunate spelling, but it is pronounced “beembo”) is currently the largest baked goods company in the world, and “El osito Bimbo” (Bimbo bear cub), pictured on the bag, is their mascot. The company was founded in 1943, selling and delivering packaged loaves of bread in small trucks. In 1963, they organized a children’s football (soccer) tournament called “Futbolito Bimbo” for the company’s families, and it was so successful, that teams from schools and other organizations were invited in subsequent years. The tournament kept growing over the years; I remember even watching the finals on TV when I was a kid, and my high school (Instituto Simón Bolívar) hosted some of the matches (before my time there, though, I am not THAT old). I checked on line if the Futbolito was still around, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is bigger than ever, now with international chapters, and positive and inclusive initiatives for the young players, both male and female. Bimbo Group has so many products around the world (more than 13,000 is their reported 2017 figure), that probably most people have encounter one or more (all names are ™): bread (such as Nature’s Harvest, Panrico, and Canada Bread), savoury snacks (Barcel, for example, Takis, pictured below), cakes (El Globo and, yes, Sara lee), and of course, sweet bread, starting with “Donas del Osito” (cub’s donuts) and “Gansito” (Goseling) in the 1950s, to a whole line of traditional Mexican sweet breads, and their own creations (TÍa Rosa, Marinela).
Another amazing fact I learned was that in 2012, the company inaugurated a wind farm in Mexico, to supply most of the energy needed for their plants in the country. Wow! The largest baked goods company in the world is Mexican, has a cute mascot, yummy products, is inclusive, supports sports, and cares for the environment. In these times of uncertainty and general turmoil, it is reassuring to find such a great success story, and as comforting as these cinnamon rolls that “el osito” baked for me:
“Las penas, con pan, son menos” –
“Hardship, with bread, is less”
(Popular Mexican expression, meaning that food is our most basic need)
Picture at the top of the post – three examples of sweet bread in Mexico: churros, pañuelo and trenza.