In contrast to the heavy proliferation of contoured makeup artists and obnoxious wannabe-Jackass types, Angela, the host of De mi Rancho a Tu Cocina, is one of the unlikeliest YouTube stars of all time. She is a tiny Mexican grandmother in a purple apron and a low ponytail, unfussy but a natural on camera. The crux of her channel? Well-honed, classic recipes like mole ranchero, flower quesadillas, and griddled gorditas, cooked on a gigantic outdoor stone grill over a roaring wood fire. In the month Angela has been on YouTube, she's managed to rack up over 1.3 million subscribers.
There's a lot we don't know about De mi Rancho a Tu Cocina. The person behind the camera remains a complete mystery, and we're not sure if she's the one personally uploading the videos to YouTube, or why she joined in the first place. I first discovered her channel when it was linked to on Reddit, and quickly became spellbound by her technique. In the mole video, Angela quietly boils chicken and onions, fries up a mixture of serrano peppers and tomatoes, and blends together a huge knob of chocolate and a handful of crackers and spices into the richest-looking mole you've ever seen. It's awesome.
From the comments, it's clear viewers appreciate both Angela's obvious culinary skill and her divine grandmaternal nature. ("Her voice is magical, love her apron reminds me of my grandma’s," reads one. "Why don't we have smell-o-vision yet? My mouth is watering at just the sight of her yummy food," reads another.) Personally, I get a distinct ASMR vibe. Angela is soft, patient, and careful with her food, and she seems to use the freshest produce in the world (straight from her garden, hence the channel's name).
If all these videos focused on was the sprightly crispness of her onion dicing, De mi Rancho a Tu Cocina would be worth the admission alone. The beauty of her cooking shines in stark contrast to the gnarly extraness that you find on most other food shows; you'll never catch Angela screaming at a webcam about a bacon-wrapped pizza.
It makes me think we need more grandmas on YouTube. Both of mine are gone, which means I'll never be able to experience the fussiness of Dorleen Mueller on a Thanksgiving afternoon ever again. Thankfully I have De mi Rancho a Tu Cocina—a surrogate abuelita, who brings a generational knowhow that somehow transcends language and makes me feel safe and warm thousands of miles away. I mean, just look at her pick apart those calabaza flowers. This is the good place.