Ingredient History

As we've set out to explore Latin American cuisine and "go beyond the burrito", we knew there was much to uncover. It's a journey we are embracing with open arms and invite you to come along too.

When you think about Latin America which includes Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean, the geography is massive and varied. And the food of the regions robust, full of sazon, and steeped in history.

Over the course of this history, ingredients from both native sources and from distant lands became the components for the variety in textures, tastes and recipes that are now the foundation for many Latin American cuisines. Potatoes, corn and other native crops to imported African meat stews, sausages and spices have all come together to form over 20 distinct and robust cuisines.

While there are many nuances in dishes that vary from region to region (seafood from northern Brazil, root vegetables in the highlands of Colombia) there are some common players that find a place almost every Latin American table — arroz con pollo, tamales, plantanos and sopas. It's the variations on the theme that make the exploration so exciting!

Along the northeastern part of South America, in addition to the Caribbean Islands, the African influence became stronger than in other Latin American cultures {for obvious reasons}. The indigenous tribes (Mayan and Aztec) in large part influences Mexico, the Mayans and Aztecs played a large role in current Mexican cuisine as it fused itself with the traditional Spanish food brought by the Spanish conquerors when they arrived on the scene.