When brewing coffee, the coffee beans change the water, but the water also changes the beans.
When moving to the US, Hispanics “acculturate” – which means becoming “American.” But the US also changes as a result of the influx of new ideas, culture and ways of being.
One of the most interesting areas of crosspollination is food. Immigrant influences in our tables are not new: what can be more American than pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers?
Of course, pizzas came straight from Italy (significantly improved by Italian immigrants in New York, I may add), wieners came from Austria (sausages from Vienna are called wienerwursts) and burgers started when a creative guy in Wisconsin started serving flattened Italian meatballs between slices of bread.
These days Latin cuisine is finding its way to non-Latin tables. Chips-and-salsa have been a staple of snacking for a couple of decades. Tortillas, tacos and enchiladas are far from being exotic fare. And 75% of all tequila exports from Mexico come to the US.
It’s also exciting to see new foods coming out of the Latin influence.
While things like Fried Guacamole may be a bit scary, others like Wasabi Tuna Tacos, Caribbean Lasagna with Sweet Plantains and the amazing Banana And Mango Spring Roll With Coconut-chocolate Ganache make me feel truly blessed of living and eating in America.