Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)

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Popular Ethnic Foods in the United States: A Historical and Safety Perspective

African slaves were imported to work on plantations in tropical lowlands of the Caribbean, Brazil, and along the Pacific. Many of the inhabitants of those regions still have a taste for starchy main dishes of plantains, rice, yams, or couscous, and flavored with greens, okra, malaguetta peppers, and palm oil. Middle Eastern influences are also apparent in the wealth of sweetened desserts, including flan and other custards, which were reproduced in the convents of Latin America.

The presence of complex spice mixtures in dishes such as Mexican mole sauce as well as pickled dishes known as escabeche also derived from medieval Arabic cooking. Finally, Asian tastes arrived by way of the colonial Manila Galleon, which traversed the Pacific each year carrying silver and other trade goods between Acapulco and the Spanish colony of the Philippines. Nineteenth-century plantation owners employed indentured servitude after the abolition of the African slave trade, thereby reinforcing Asian culinary traditions with stir-fries and curry sauces.

Latin America became a hub of globalization during the early modern era through a process that has been called the Columbian exchange. Although Iberian settlers preferred European foods, particularly wheat bread and meat, they acquired a taste for many indigenous foods, including frijoles, chile peppers, and chocolate. Cultural mixture, known in Spanish as mestizaje , has become so complex in Latin America that at times it is hard to tell exactly where particular traditions originated.

Rice, for example, was consumed in Spain, Western Africa, and Asia before Moreover, foods such as corn, potatoes, and tomatoes spread so widely during the early modern era that many people do not realize they were domesticated in what is now Latin America. Despite this long history of cultural blending, many of the Latino foods that Anglo Americans first encountered in the 19th century were of relatively recent origin.

A lateth century economic boom transformed subsistence societies of the Spanish Caribbean and northern New Spain into thriving commercial centers.

A note about Latin American culture and cuisine

The beneficiaries of this wealth began to consume more luxury foods, while the working classes struggled to maintain a nutritious diet even as they lost their land to export crops. Oblivious to historical change, 19th century Anglos applied their attitudes of manifest destiny to foods as well as people, and looked down on these cuisines as relics of the past, created by "savage" Aztecs, Caribs, and Africans. This racist attitude colored early cross-cultural interactions and long impeded Latinos from achieving full citizenship. Late colonial prosperity allowed settlers on the northern borderlands to replace the sturdy, indigenous staple maize with European wheat, although they prepared it in the hybrid form of flour tortillas.

Beleaguered by arid climate and Indian raids, rural Hispanic families generally sold their wheat to urban markets and fed themselves corn, either as tortillas or as pozole.

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When the Spanish Crown finally made peace with the Apaches and Comanches in the s, however, settlers quickly expanded their irrigated fields, producing a surplus they could consume at home. The origins of wheat flour tortillas are unknown.

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Wheat tortillas may also have been invented independently by Indian women who adapted familiar techniques to a novel grain. Regardless of their origins, these tortillas allowed rural folk to raise their status by eating Hispanic wheat, even if they could not afford the ovens and fuel for baking bread. Enormous, thin tortillas became a particular marker of the regional cooking of Arizona. A similar economic boom likewise stimulated a Hispanic culinary renaissance in Spain's Caribbean colonies, although not everyone shared in the windfall. The local sugar industry began to revive when the British occupied Havana in , importing slaves and technology.

The spread of abolition, beginning with the Haitian slave revolt of , reduced competition for Spanish sugar. Coffee also became a significant export crop in the 19th century, particularly in the highlands of Puerto Rico. As historian Cruz Miguel Ortiz Cuadra has observed, the growth of Antillean plantations displaced local rice cultivation along with a range of indigenous root crops. Wealthy planters and merchants used the profits from sugar and coffee to import rice and other prestigious foods such as wine, olive oil, capers, and salt cod, which they prepared using Spanish recipes such as the soupy Valencian rice dishes, which became known in Puerto Rico as asopao de pollo rice with chicken.

Slaves and poor farmers ate more imported rice as well, although the machine-milled grain was less nutritious than the varieties they had formerly milled by hand. Unable to afford the meats and condiments of the rich, they fell back on the relatively monotonous although basically sound combination of rice and beans, the moros y cristianos of Cuba or red beans called habichuelas in Puerto Rico. These connections remained strong even after the U. Although Mexican residents of the San Francisco bay area were soon overrun by '49ers, more isolated settlements in southern California, south Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona preserved their cultural autonomy.

Anglo newcomers to these areas often married into elite families, thereby acquiring a taste for Mexican food. Cookbooks also helped to preserve cultural ties, and over time they became treasured family heirlooms. Latino culinary traditions also took root in port cities along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.

Top 10 Mexican Foods

Antillean communities were founded by merchants in commercial hubs such as New York City and New Orleans, as well as by the children of wealthy planters who studied in American schools. Bodegas grocery stores and restaurants catered to the immigrants' desire for familiar foods. Many early Latino restaurants tried to attract a crossover clientele, but Anglos often refused to equate Spanish or Mexican cuisine with fine dining.

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Within a few years, however, most had disappeared from city directories, to be replaced by restaurants with French names. When Mexican food became the subject of culinary tourism, Anglos sought out exotic street food, not elegant restaurants. Many working-class Mexicans supplemented their household incomes by selling food during civic and religious festivals, and the growth of tourism made their occasional stands into a nightly pageant in streets and plazas. Vendors in San Antonio were gendered female in the popular imagination, as "Chili Queens," while in Los Angeles they were more often associated with masculine tamale pushcarts, although men and women of diverse ethnic groups sold chili and tamales in both cities.

Stereotypes of Mexican food as painfully hot and potentially contaminating were conflated with the supposed sexual dangers of the "Chili Queens. Although a popular tourist attraction, vendors were constantly harassed by police and urban reformers, who sought to restrict them to segregated locations such as San Antonio's Milam Plaza. By the end of the 19th century, Latino foods had become firmly established in the national consciousness with an image of "safe danger.


Yet the food appealed not just to Bohemian slumming but also to working-class ethnics, who learned that they could find a tasty and inexpensive meal in Latino restaurants. Thus, Latino foods soon spread beyond their ethnic and geographical origins; for example, black vendors carried tamales from San Antonio all the way to the Mississippi delta. Cross-cultural exchanges, often based on unequal power relations, continued with the growth of the food processing industry. Food processing was one of the largest industries in the U. Yet Latino contributions to industrial food have scarcely been limited to manual labor.

Historian Donna Gabaccia has noted the paradox that although immigrant entrepreneurs developed culinary icons ranging from hamburgers and hotdogs to Fritos and tacos, national markets for these products generally have gone to corporations with little connection to the communities of origin. The history of chili con carne illustrates the industrial appropriation and distancing of foods from their Latino origins.

Businessmen such as Willam Gebhardt capitalized on the popularity of Mexican vendors by marketing chili powder made from imported peppers mixed with spices.

Latino food culture - Zilkia Janer - Google книги

Chicago meatpackers added chili con carne to their line of canned products in order to disguise inferior cuts of meat. Chili con carne acquired new forms and flavors as it spread across the country. African American cooks in Memphis put it on spaghetti as "chili mac," while in Ohio and Michigan hot dogs with chili became known as "coneys.

Chili with beans became a national staple during the hard times of the Great Depression. Some Anglo Texans eventually denied the Mexican origins of chili con carne , although the cowboy cooks credited with the recipe also learned their ranching skills from Mexican vaqueros. The well-known story of chili has tended to obscure a parallel history of food processing innovation and entrepreneurship within Latino communities. Labor migrants traveling out of the Southwest to work in Midwestern railroads, factories, and agriculture skillfully improvised familiar foods in makeshift kitchens.

By the s, Mexican merchants in cities such as Chicago and St. Louis offered a range of fresh and dried ingredients, kitchen utensils, and prepared foods. Some of these items were imports from Mexico, including the Clemente Jacques line of canned chiles and sauces. Others were manufactured in the U.

Mexican merchants in San Antonio, who congregated along Produce Row, organized the shipping of tropical fruits and vegetables to the U. Mexicans and Mexican Americans also pioneered the mechanization of tortilla making, although it remained a cottage industry for decades due to the cultural insistence on freshness. By the turn of the century, steel mills had replaced the burdensome daily labor of grinding corn dough, at least in urban areas of Mexico and the Southwest. Some scholars have claimed that Elmer Doolin used his recipe as the basis for Fritos brand corn chips.

The Sanitary Tortilla Company, for example, remains to this day a San Antonio institution with legions of customers still loyal to cantankerous s machines. Many Mexican American, Cuban American, Puerto Ricans, Dominican American, and Central and South American communities in the United States are considered transnational because they actively participate in the economy, politics, and culture of both the United States and their countries of origin. The pan-Latino food culture that is emerging in the United States is also a transnational phenomenon that constantly nurtures and is nurtured by national and regional cuisines.

They all combine in kaleidoscopic ways their shared gastronomic wealth of Spanish and Amerindian cuisines with different African, European and Asian culinary traditions. This book discusses the ongoing development of Latino food culture, giving special attention to how Latinos are adapting and transforming Latin American and international elements to create one of the most vibrant cuisines today.

Oh and making it is simple. If you have opted in for our browser push notifications, and you would like to opt-out, please refer to the following instructions depending on your device and browser. For turning notifications on or off on Google Chrome and Android click here , for Firefox click here , for Safari click here and for Microsoft's Edge click here. Diversify your Christmas table with these recipes straight from Latin America and the Caribbean. FB Twitter ellipsis More.

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Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)
Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)
Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)
Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)
Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)
Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)
Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America) Latino Food Culture (Food Cultures in America)

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