Magic Candle: ‘Tapa Boca’

Prayer candle

CANDLE My last visit to Northgate yielded some excellent finds, among them an assortment of prayer candles. This one “Tapa Boca” ( “Shut UP!”) seemed like a fitting launch for a cooking blog. Why? Read on!

I think of this as the ‘anti -chismoso’ candle. A chismoso/a is a troublemaker – in our parlance, one who likes to stir the pot. Every kitchen has one … the one whose glance makes the milk go sour, who talks s**t and sets an otherwise happy team at each other’s throats, who makes the snide little comment, who carries tales to make trouble – and invents tales. The one who needs to be turfed on any pretext before they poison the whole atmosphere. In fact, they are a bit like a bad fairy or the troublesome leprechaun.

On this candle, the drawing on the front is a female with pigtails, either gagged or wearing a bandanna bandido-style, looking angry, which is understandable. I wouldn’t want to wear pigtails at her age either. Chismosos come in all genders, though.

On the back, the incantation reads: “To you (name of person) or to any other person who tries to harass, harm or impair me through rumours or gossip, Somebody (smeared) will instantly cover and recover your mouth. The same Somebody will instantly cover and recover the ears of those you speak to. Finally if you continue to speak of me with evil tongues I will destroy your character to those around you.” So, the idea is to light the candle, say the words and let the magic go to work.

I expect this was quite a bit juicier in the original Spanish, as this is pretty high-minded until the end, when the crushing starts and the whole vendetta gets rolling. I say, much better to make some killer tamales and hand those out to the neighbors. Who are you gonna believe then?

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