Latin Bites

Naomi Murphy '23

Americans celebrate Hispanic Heritage month from September 15 to October 15 annually.  We celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans who have inspired others to achieve success. One of those achievements is the infusion of Latin Food in the American diet.  Latin American food has influences from all across the world from Native Americans, African, European, and Asian influences.  

Many Latin foods have a symbolic history behind the dish. Ropa Vieja, the national dish of Cuba, is an example of this. It is a meal that has origins from Spain but tells a humble story. Ropa Vieja which translates to “old clothes” has a story of the less fortunate that made due with what they had to make a wonderful meal.  The dish travelled to the Americas from Spain, where it became a staple dish in the Caribbean and Cuba.  Ropa Vieja is a dish that is a beef stew that has shredded beef that is slow cooked and served with black beans and rice. Dishes are mostly flavored around the spices. Ropa Vieja can be considered a comfort food, and it is just one of the Latin foods that we celebrate because of its richness both in culture and flavor.  

There are many Latin foods that help Hispanic American feel like they have a taste of home. One of Puerto Rico’s most famous dishes is Pernil,which is a delicious roasted pork shoulder that is roasted for hours. It is seasoned in a marinade of adobo, which is paprika, salt, vinegar, garlic, and oregano. This dish has a history of being served during the holidays and special events like birthdays and weddings.  

Works Cited

Martinez, R. (2017, October 13). Ropa Vieja. Bon Appétit. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from