The following post was originally featured on Alyssa and Carla and written by Carla, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Latina.

It’s crazy to think that I’ve hit the age where something happened 15 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. About that time, I was getting on a plane to Mexico for a family emergency with my mom. Having never been to visit her side of the family, I had no idea what was waiting for me.

The trip was definitely not built of butterflies and rainbows, but there was something intensely magical about seeing (and, in some cases, meeting!) my extended family in their own home. My mom’s relatives live in a small town in Jalisco, a town with winding, cobbled streets and a huge church with a sprawling plaza. There were vendors everywhere: agua fresca, fresh fruit, cut sugarcane. Despite the circumstances, our visitor status meant we had to try as much of the local food as possible. We had delicious grilled chicken, fried potato tacos, and (my favorite) a special kind of roll spread with thick cajeta.

Cajeta is the Mexican version of caramel, a dulce de leche made at least partially with goat’s milk for an extra special flavor. I’m going to call my insane levels of love for the stuff part of my heritage. It’s totally the right thing to do.

from POPSUGAR Food