Latin food is one of my favorite things to eat and being in NYC is not hard to find or is it?
Now if I had said Spanish food that would be a different story.
Let me explain and break it down…
Latin America what does that mean? It the places that only Spain and Portugal conquered and colonized and the places Spain only colonized is called Hispanic America.
Every Latin country has its food and customs and culture.
The food may sound the same but it different.
So you can not say it’s all Spanish food.
Mexican food is not Spanish even though they have rice and beans
Like Cuba they use black beans, Porto Rico uses pinto, Peru fava beans, etc.
In Porto Rico, Dominican Republic is the main type of Hispanic found in NYC.
The food and cultures run very close to each other why? 1492 Christopher Columbus stumbled on to them while looking for India…he was way off course. He thought he had found India so he called them Indians.
If you ask most Puerto Ricans if they go far back what we’re the there great great great relatives say they were?
They would they were Indios which means Indians something the Europeans called them.
But in reality they were taínos the indigenous people of the land.
Spanish was not their language Spanish came from Spain. You think Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico and the natives said hola?
No most of the languages spoken in Puerto Rico and the other islands was Arawakan.
But after a 100 year it was pretty much an extinct language and everyone now spoke Spanish.
Also most taínos were killed or killed themselves because of forced labor and smallpox and measles the Europeans brought with them the taínos had no defense and pretty much almost all wiped out.
But wait did you know there were people in Puerto Rico before the taínos?
Yes it is believed to be The Ortoiroid people that may have been on the island 2000-4000 years ago then replace by the Saladoid around 250 bc.
So since 1493 Spain controlled Puerto Rico and Cuba for almost 500 years till the Spanish American war of 1898.
So as far as foods there are a good majority of foods that have the same names across Latin America but are prepared differently.
But everyone seems to have a gusiado which is like a beef stew and very common across Latin America
It’s a slow-cooked beef till it almost falls apart in a broth that contains sofrito tomato’s cilantro carrots and potatoes, and beef stock and cooked for 2 hours, and I served it over cilantro lime rice.
This is one of the best beef stews out there!