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Hispanic cuisine is poised to eclipse Chinese


Gifted Gourmet
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"Hispanic on the run – from pseudo Mexican creations such as breakfast burritos to more authentic items such as Salvadoran papusas – appeals to our changing national tastebuds, populace and demand for convenience," said Don Montuori, Acquisitions Editor for Packaged Facts. "If you consider the fact that nearly 90% of tweens told researchers that quesadillas are an ‘everyday food,’ it’s no wonder that Hispanic cuisine is poised to eclipse Chinese as the favorite foreign food for Americans."
press release from The Info-Shop.com 2004/11/24

Have you found that you are shifting your food options to more Hispanic type selections? :wink:

What is your very favorite Hispanic food?

Your opinion on this ... :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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what's Hispanic food? Chinese is from China, Hispanic is from .....

Hispania, naturally.

Sorry, I am grading freshman math papers, so I'm feeling a little punchy.

But to answer the question non-wise-assfully, this is interesting because it has been true for me lately...in any case, I have been eating more Mexican food than Chinese food these days. I suspect this is merely because I have better access to good Mexican food than I do to good Chinese food where I live. I do however have good Korean food nearby for the first time, so I have also been eating a lot more of that too.

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I've enjoyed Dominican, Mexican, and other Latin American cuisines for a long time, but I haven't noticed any shift away from Chinese food (one of my favorite cuisines, in its various regional guises) toward Latin American cuisines on my part. I have no doubt that if I were living in California - or, for that matter, Jackson Heights - I'd eat loads more burritos and so forth, but I'm in Manhattan.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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With my Chinese-American upbringing, I tend to eat Chinese food more than Hispanic. MIND YOU, I enjoy them both. Because I work in downtown LA, I have access to both Chinese & Mexican food, as well as other types, like Anglo-cafeteria food ... :rolleyes:

I like eatting a burrito with carne asada and red salsa. I also like a tostada grande with machaca, plenty of sour cream and guacamole, and of course, salsa. Whenever I get the chance, I go to a Mexican restaurant (non-chain) near my apartment and order some gallina en mole (chicken in mole sauce) with rice and beans, no salsa.

Recently, my boss took our department out for lunch at this Carribean restaurant (does this count as Hispanic to you??) :hmmm: I had this Jamaican jerk chicken which was really spicy and sweet, no added salsa.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Carribean restaurant (does this count as Hispanic to you??) :hmmm:  I had this Jamaican jerk chicken which was really spicy and sweet, no added salsa.

Firstly, rjwong, welcome to eGullet! and I believe that I would put the category of Jamaican/Carribean cuisine into Hispanic more than any other type ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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what's Hispanic food? Chinese is from China, Hispanic is from .....

Hispania, naturally.

Bzzzzzzt. Wrong!

Hispaniola! Have you forgotten your Grade 9 Social Studies???? :laugh:

As for Hispanic v. Asian (assuming that all Asian cuisines are being lumped in), I would always go for Asian. Always.

Last night, we had ramen for dinner. Not the packaged noodle crap but the real deal (well, as real as I could make it so far from Ezogiku). Asian cuisine, cooked as it should be, has clean and pure flavours.

When we lived in Vancouver, we would join friends for a breakfast of homemade wonton soup on Christmas morning. We've already made plans to have our wonton breakfast this year. There's nothing like it.

Yeah, I'm a sucker for carnitas. It is the most incredible incarnation of pork that ever occurred on this earth. But, it's not something you could eat every day (without suffering a coronary). Maybe I don't see the *real* Hispanic cooking; maybe I only see those foods tarted up for American consumption.

Based on that though, I'd have to always pick the Asian food that I know...

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THE definitive article on this topic

The growing consumer interest in Hispanic cuisine can be attributed to several factors — higher travel and restaurant-related spending, a greater sophistication in the food arena, and perhaps even boredom with the same old ethnic fare. The most significant driver, however, is the fact that 37 million of the people who now call the United States home — or more than one in eight of us — are of Hispanic/Latino origin.

Although two-thirds of these people claim Mexican heritage, populations with ties to Central and South America, Puerto Rico and Cuba have been increasing as well. It is no wonder that the ethnic dishes associated with these populations are beginning to influence mainstream culinary America.

Aha! read on ... a very good article! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Oops, sorry .. how do they say it today? My bad...

You didn't do anything wrong! I just don't think Jerk Chicken is Latin food; it's Jamaican. Caribbean? Definitely. Latin? No. Many of the commonalities among Caribbean cuisines are the result of the African origins of so many of the people, whether in French-Creole-speaking (Haiti, Louisiana - at least until recently), English-speaking (Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana), or Spanish-speaking lands.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I've enjoyed Dominican, Mexican, and other Latin American cuisines for a long time, but I haven't noticed any shift away from Chinese food (one of my favorite cuisines, in its various regional guises) toward Latin American cuisines on my part. I have no doubt that if I were living in California - or, for that matter, Jackson Heights - I'd eat loads more burritos and so forth, but I'm in Manhattan.

Don't be so sure. I live in the greater Los Angeles area, and most Mexican places around are atrocious. The chains are the worst - the food has no character, but there's plenty of it, and it's very greasy. Once in a while you stumble across a hole-in-the-wall kind of place where you may find something remotely interesting, but even these place are cutting corners. I recently stopped by a family owned/operated fast food joint, which I used to frequent few years ago. I had my obligatory steak burrito ,about as good as I could remember, but the kids ordered a chicken torta. The chicken was a chicken breast from a can. Yuck! And this is one of the best Mexican places in the area.

The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

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Ever since moving to Colorado, we have been eating more of the Mexican/Tex-Mex/New Mexican dishes, mostly because they're more available here, and mostly better than most of the Asian offerings (we don't even have a decent Thai place in town, and now they're telling me that Thai is passe'. How can it have passed when it never even got here?). I used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I ate Asian WAY more, simply because it was plentiful and good. For me, it's simply a matter of geographics - I eat what's good HERE, and when I'm somewhere else, I eat what's good THERE.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I agree, geographics definitely have a lot to do with it for me. I don't go to visit people in say Chicago or New york looking for Hispanic food. (Although I can't tell you how many times I've had to insist, please I just want an Italian beef! or can we go to the great local German restaurant, for instance, instead of some bad Chili's knock off! I can get all I want of good Hispanic food when I'm home.) I enjoy eating more "regionally" -- at the very least what is good in that region even if it's not regional food.

Consequently when going out around Central TX, especially if the restaurant isn't chosen in advance but the meal out just becomes part of the day, we tend to eat more Hispanic food. More of that is good and available in the area than Chinese or most Asian cuisines. Although we do have a few favs of those here certainly.

On the other hand, if I'm cooking at home I cook just as much Asian (to stretch that -- Chinese in all it's varieties, and Thai, Korean, Vietnamese) as I do Hispanic food. You could walk in my kitchen any day and find tortillas and curry side by side on the pantry shelf.

So, no not more Hispanic food now than ever before.

For Hispanic food favorites? One of my favs has to be calabacita con carne de puerco (a rich stew of squash with pork carnitas), but damn it's hard to beat a good chicken mole too.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Chinese is America's favorite ethnic food? Wow, who knew... I wonder if they consider Italian to be 'ethnic', I certainly see at least three Italian restaurants for every Chinese/Mexican.

Then again, Mexican places are starting to pop up more and more than Chinese, and I am probably eating that way too. I certainly prefer Hispanic food to most Asian, although I do love some spicey szechuan style Chinese, some good Sushi, or good Thai on occasion, but I wouldn't want to eat it every day.

I am also excited that the Hispanic food world seems to be broadening. Instead of seeing just 'Mexican' places, there are now distinct Americanized Mexican, Authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex, Cajun-Mexican Fusion, and Puerto Rican/Chilean/Peruvian places around here, each with its own special charm. All of the Chinese places on the other hand have nearly identical menus, and there is nothing to distinguish between any of the Japanese Hibachi/Sushi-Bar joints. There was briefly a place that specialized in Asian style noodle soups/noodle bowls, but the they were overpriced and the food was boring by any standard, so it quickly shut down.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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It seems much easier here (Tampa/St Pete) to find good Cuban and Puerto Rican food than good Asian food, probably because there's a significant Cuban/Puerto Rican population.

I grew up in Texas, though, so even those foods seem kinda foreign & strange to me, and I'm still on the hunt for a really good Tex-Mex place here. My cooking is definitely influenced by my upbringing, and if I'm more inclined to cook/eat a Hispanic dish, I'm sure it's because I'm more familiar & comfortable with those ingredients & foods.

Favorite dish? Cheese enchiladas, with extra onions.

Diana

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Hey -- there's always a Chinese jor "fusion" (Cuban Chinese, Puerto Rican Chinese) joint in Hispanic neighborhoods. On the other hand, how many Asian neighborhoods have Mexican joints? :laugh:

I think, as a test, one of the Denver eGulleters should go out to Federal Boulevard (Denver's greatest dining resource), mark the point at which the Vietnamese/Asian restaurant and groceries (towards the south end) begin outnumbering the Mexican/Hispanic places (on legendary North Federal), and watch for six months to see if the line is moving north or south.

I'll keep and eye on my neighborhood and Northern Virginia for the same dynamic.

Do Charlie Changs and Taco Bells count? Or only "real" food.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I agree, geographics definitely have a lot to do with it for me. I don't go to visit people in say Chicago or New york looking for Hispanic food...

Funny you should say that, I consider the Hispanic food in Chicago to be some of the best in the country!

The two places in America I have lived are Austin and Chicago, so (although I've never really thought about it before) I consider Hispanic food to be a huge part of the American food scene. Whenever I go back to London, one of the main things that seems strange to me is not seeing a taqueria on every corner.

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Interesting thought (perhaps). I live in a neighborhood with a significant hispanic population and Latin ingredients available in every store. We cook a lot of "Hispanic" food at home, but rarely eat at the Salvadoran or Mexican restaurants nearby or get Hispanic carryout. On the other hand, we almost always get Asian food from a restaurant, though we do cook it on occasion and there are two Asian grocers in the 'hood.

Not sure how this fits into the larger picture -- if the "trend" is based on restaurant consumption or accounts for home cooking as well.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Not sure how this fits into the larger picture -- if the "trend" is based on restaurant consumption or accounts for home cooking as well.

From the same article I have mentioned in my first post here:

From 1999 through 2004, sales of mainstream Mexican and authentic Hispanic convenience foods -- such as entrees and hand-held items --have grown 103%, according to "The U.S. Market for Hispanic Foods and Beverages," a new market research report from publisher Packaged Facts. Sales grew from just under $250 million in 1999 to $505 million in 2004

103% is not anything to sneeze at! :laugh:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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