This is a good month to focus on what the United States has gained from the rich cultures and heritage, of the indigenous native dwellers such as the Mayas, Aztecs and Incas of Mexico, to the little known and now extinct Tahínos of the Caribbean. Since the first Spanish settlers arrived on our coasts the geography of North America attracted many other cultures and we have roots stemming from Europe, Africa, Central and South America. Our culture is reflective of this; moreover so is our food.
It is estimated that there are about 50 ½ million people of Hispanic roots in the US, and this number is still growing. Although there have been many famous people sharing those roots, to me, being Hispanic is knowing the food. Although the origins of each country sharing the Hispanic language, culture and heritage are from Spain, it the indigenous heritage that make each country's "cocina" unique, there are some similarities. Our food is rich, it is flavorful, it is always made with love; we don't just eat and feed, we nourish. We also share our love for coffee, some of the best of which is grown in all of Latin America. The best welcome sign for Hispanics is the smell of something good cooking when the door is open, a little cup of delicious, aromatic dark roast coffee served with a bit of sweet dessert. Most afternoons between lunch and dinner you will find us enjoying a small cup of coffee and a bite of something sweet.
Try some of our delicious recipes wtih flavors reminiscent of our heritage - delicous, creamy Coffee Milkshake on page 11 garnished with cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper, or the Dairy-Free Coffee Laté on page 15. Still craving a little something sweet to go with that coffee? Then Rice Pudding on page 41 is for you! It’s made just the way my mother used to!