Tacos Go Mainstream

This past weekend I went to a friend’s party appropriately called Beast-Feast. As the main attraction to the all day outdoor party was consuming a rather large “lechon” (roasted pig in English.)
Thought the massive roasted big was not cooked Latino style it still reminded my family and home cooking. A big lechon was usually at the center of most of major festivities.

As with most cultures food is at the heart of Latino culture. No matter which of the 20 plus countries you may be from, start talking about rice, beans and a succulent lechon and suddenly similes are all around and memories of fiestas and special memories fill the air.

We have all seen reports on how salsa out sells ketchup in the U.S. The reality is that Hispanic cuisine has become an American standard. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an appetizer menu at an “Americana cuisine” restaurant without one of these items: chips & salsa, nachos or quesadillas. The reality is the Hispanic population has grown 3.2 percent between 2007 and 2008.

An article from early this week discusses how Hispanic foods are leaving the “specialty section” and going mainstream. : Hispanic foods moving out of the ethnic aisle

Several major chains are expanding their specialty offerings to capture business from Latinos, the country’s fastest-growing population and already almost one-sixth of the U.S. total in 2008. Other retailers are opening new stores that target Hispanic shoppers.

I once heard that once “ethnic” food goes mainstream, its when you know that group has made it… Pizza/Pasta and Italians, Hot Dogs and Germans, etc… I agree with tacos, don’t think my dad’s recipe for pickled cactus will be on any “mainstream” menu anytime soon.


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