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  • Writer's pictureEngilberto Olivera

10 Dishes We Love to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 in the United States, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The month is observed with parades, festivals, and, of course, lots of food. Initially, the observance began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and only later was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover an entire 31-day period.

Some might ask why September 15th through October 15th is when Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated? Reason being, is there are numerous Independence Days from Latin America during the time period, although the month celebrates people from all Spanish ethnicities.

The real purpose of Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the history and many unique cultures and contributions Latinos have made to our country. With the ever growing population right here in Central Florida there is no better way to honor and show support than by cooking up some delicious dishes and serving friends and family some incredible Latin foods.

We’ve listed our favorite dishes below for you to celebrate alongside us!

  • Empandas – An empanada is a pastry or turnover that’s filled with savory ingredients and served hot. The name comes from the verb “empanar” meaning “to wrap or coat in bread or dough.” Popular fillings include ground or minced beef, chicken, or even a ham-and-cheese combo.

  • Arepas – Arepas are one of the most famous Colombian foods known around the world. These delicious savory treats start as dough made from corn. This dough is pressed into patties and grilled with a wide variety of ingredients that can be stuffed inside.

  • Bacalaitos – Bacalaitos are a traditional Puerto Rican snack made from breaded salted codfish. (The term Bacalaitos comes from the standard Spanish word bacalao, which translates to “salt cod” in English.)

  • Tapas – The tapa, or small plate, is a craze that has taken the food industry by storm. But in Spain, these snack-sized servings or canapés are part of the nation’s history.Traditionally, buying a drink at a Spanish bar would get you a free tapa.

  • Tamales – Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made with a corn based dough mixture that is filled with various meats or beans and cheese. It then steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf.

  • Tacos – A taco is a traditional Mexican food consisting of a small hand-sized corn- or wheat-based tortilla topped with a filling. The tortilla is then folded around the filling and eaten by hand.

  • Paella – Paella is a classic Spanish rice dish made with rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken, and seafood cooked and served in one large pan.

  • Media Noche Sandwich – The Cuban medianoche is a close sibling to the more famous cubano. Its name literally means “middle of the night,” its the kind of sandwich you eat after hours of partying at night clubs. The fillings of roast pork, ham, pickles, cheese and mustard are the same as a Cubano but it’s uses sweet bread similar to challah or Hawaiian bread.

  • Steak Chimichurri – Steak chimichurri is a classic Argentinian dish that marries tender grilled beef with a punchy chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce used both as an ingredient in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat. The sauce comes in a green and red version and its made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar.

  • Churros – Churros are a popular Spanish dessert that is quite popular in the US. They are made with simple choux pastry fried in hot oil and coated in cinnamon sugar. Churros are a popular carnival or fair treat.

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