What started as a visual cookbook for Ana Regalado to pass down family recipes to future generations has expanded to a massive TikTok following for her "Salty Cocina" videos. From her home in the Phoenix area, Regalado shares the flavors that helped define her life.
For Hispanic Heritage Month, she gave Scripps News Phoenix a look behind the success of her vibrant recipe videos.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard, 'Oh that’s a secret family recipe,' [but] I think recipes are meant to be shared. We share them with the world so everyone can enjoy them,” said Regalado.
The mother of seven and grandmother began making her recipe videos back in 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said it all began as a way to teach her traditional Mexican cuisine to her children and grandchildren.
“Just think about it, how amazing would it be to have your grandma in the kitchen, watching her cook, when she’s no longer here?” said Regalado.
Not only did her children love it, but so did the rest of the world. Within a year of uploading her first video, she surpassed 1 million followers. She has more than 2.5 million now.
All of them are eager to explore the history, cultural significance and origins of the ingredients in her beloved dishes. Her engaging and authentic personality has given her a platform she never could have imagined.
“I never thought it would get this big,” said Regalado.
Each video is a testament to her commitment to spreading the richness of the recipes passed down through generations while savoring all she learns about other cultures from her followers.
“Everybody’s cultures are different, but, in a way, they’re kind of similar. So we can all embrace each other,” said Regalado. “There are so many different recipes that are the same but have different names in different countries.”
Regalado said with a laugh, “I always tell my husband, a family that cooks together stays together.”