Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Doña Ángela: a Michoacán abuelita with over 4 million YouTube subscribers

Doña Ángela, a 71-year-old grandmother living in rural Michoacán has surpassed the viewership of culinary icons Gordon Ramsay and Martha Stewart on YouTube.

Her channel “De Mi Rancho a Tu Cocina” (“From my ranch to your kitchen”) has over 4 million subscribers, far less than Ramsay’s more than 19 million and yet her videos get more views than both Ramsay and Stewart (who has a little over 800,000 subscribers).  According to the website Latinometrics, Doña Ángela’s last 25 videos had close to 300,000 views, surpassing the almost 250,000 of Ramsey and less than 100,000 of Stewart. That makes “De Mi Rancho a Tu Cocina” the fourth most popular cooking channel currently on YouTube.

Within two months of the publication of her first video in 2019, Ángela Gardias had over 100,000 subscribers. Doña Ángela lives in the town of Pablo Cuin in the Ario de Rosales municipality of Michoacán and she has become a viral hit by presenting homestyle Mexican recipes from her state’s regional cuisine and beyond. Her first video of how to make enchiladas verdes has had over 11 million views since it was published in 2019.

Without a big production team, a fancy demonstration kitchen, and bevy of assistants behind the scenes, Doña Ángela’s kids film her on their cellphones as she cooks in front of her a large flat comal stove in a rural, wood-paneled kitchen.

Doña Ángela’s channel shares both longer, more complex recipes and short videos like this recipe for agua de bugambilia (iced bougainvillea tea).

In her recipes Doña Ángela highlights traditional processes in Mexican cooking like the nixtamalization of corn and shows off local ingredients that she herself raises and grows. She speaks with a distinctive regional accent and is watched by Mexicans around the world hankering for a nostalgic taste of home.

Doña Ángela was named one of Mexico’s 100 most powerful women of 2020 in Forbes magazine alongside famous figures such as Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s first female mayor and expected Presidential candidate in 2024. She has been hailed as a exemplar of not only traditional cooks, but also rural Mexico and its incredibly diverse and rich culture.

With reports from Sin Embargo and Cultura Colectiva

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