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Mexican Independence Day

September 1, 2017Read More

mexico

September 16th is Mexican Independence Day. Often mistaken for Cinco De Mayo, it marks the anniversary of the beginning of s revolution to free Mexico from the clutches of Spain.

This theme was very common as Spain had most of the Latin American world under it’s captivity. The 18th and 19th centuries are marked with the struggle of now independent Latin republics to free themselves from the oppression of their Spanish conquerers.

So in a way the battle for independence from Spain is a pretty universal struggle in the Latino world.

Mistaken for Cinco De Mayo

While a lot of fun, Cinco De Mayo has no connection or bearing on Mexican Independence Day, which was fought against the French. It is still a triumph of the Mexican people but has its own holiday. In fact, here is a quick list of facts to help clarify some of the key points of Mexican Independence Day.

GritoQuick Facts About Mexican Independence Day

Since we mentioned Cinco De Mayo let us add some facts and dispel some myths about this famed holiday

  • It is not Cinco De Mayo or even part of the same conflict
  • It marked the beginning of the war not the end
  • The war lasted 11 years after it started
  • A priest,not a soilder, started the revolt
  • The symbolic founder of the revolution, priest Hidalgo is captured and killed by the Spanish before the end of the war.
  • The war starts with a bell ringing which is reenacted every year

But make no mistake..it is about freedom and the Mexicans,like so many other Latino countries will tell you, freedom isn’t free.

Now the fun part..Let’s celebrate

Enough of this political stuff, how about the fun. I know of no Latin festivals or commemorative occasions that are not marked by festivals and great food…

Declare your own independence from boring food

Come enjoy your own Independence Day celebration at El Sabroson. Multiple flavors and seasonings await you with our authentic Latin restaurant menu, including fresh Mexican food.

Latin Food Myths

July 25, 2017Read More

Latin Food Is NOT Mexican Food

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about a Latino Restaurant is that the food is going to be Mexican latino restaurantfood. This is a huge misconception. Mexican food is it’s own style of cuisine. Yes, there may be Latin American influences but it is NOT the sole style of Latin American cooking. This is a big myth, but not the only myth permeating Latin American dishes.

In fact widen your gaze. Latin food incorporates everything from:

  • Costa Rica
  • Honduras
  • Cuba
  • Puerto Rico
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Columbia
  • El Salvador
  • Paraguay
  • Ecuador
  • Bolivia

Yes, Mexico is on that list..but it is not the sole contributor to Latino food

The point I am making here is Mexican food is a very narrow view of all the flavors, tastes, culture, and history surrounding the rest of South America, Central America and The Caribbean. So the key is to pull out what Mexican creations are stereotypes, hybrids etc.

And while we explore stereotypes..what you think is Mexican, isn’t really Mexican?

Most of the Mexican food in America isn’t Mexican at all. It is a mixture of Mexican and American called Tex-Mex. Many people think this is Latin food but it is more of a caricature of Mexican food than Latin food.

latino foodLatin Cooking is Not a Mexican Food Stereotype

Mexican food, which is really Tex Mex, contributes heavily to the stereotype that Latin food is just like Mexican food. This is again not true and some of the myths that go along with this thinking are:

  • All Latin Food Is Fried
  • Every meal has tortillas
  • Every meal has beans and rice

Again this is a stereotype. There are many Latino dishes that do not have any of this. Open a Latino cookbook and you will see dishes that have no resemblance at all to this caricature of Mexican, or Tex-Mex which involves frying some form of tortilla and then serving it with rice and beans.

An even bigger misnomer is that Latin food follows a few rigid culinary customs. But even in many of the Latin countries food will change by region, adding considerable variation to the taste. So many dishes that are actual authentic Latin dishes will have different variations.

south american foodNo Country is a Vacuum

Another misnomer is that all Latin food is indigenous to South America or the Caribbean. Just like in United States, waves of immigrants have come to South America and have added new flavors into the food. Centuries before the settlement of North America by Europeons,  much of the South American food made its way into Europe which had a huge impact on Europeon food.

Even inside a country, there are regional tastes..

Taste the variety for yourself at our Latin Lunch Buffet

But the proof is in the pudding. Check out our delicious and versatile Latin buffet in Williamsburg at El Sabroson. Yes you may find the occasional Mexican specialty on both our menu and our lunch buffet but it is one of many cultures contributing to the dishes that we offer.

Link To Our Latin Lunch Buffet in Williamsburg

 


References

10 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LATIN FOOD

 Your Bibliography: Cosmopolitan. (2017). 10 Common Misconceptions About Latin Food. [online] Available at: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/news/a33062/10-misconceptions-about-latin-food-everyone-has/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2017].

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Latin American Cooking: Asian Fusion and Fried Rice

June 20, 2017Read More

latin_food_williamsburgAs I have mentioned before, Latin American cooking, in many ways,  is the fusion of other cultures all across the world. On top of traditional Spanish European influences early on with native populations, Latin food has additions from places you may not have realized. One of those is from Asia. In Peru, it is so ingrained it even has a name..Chifa

Chifa: Peruvian Chinese

Chifa is the imprint of the Cantonese people and is an integral part of this country’s spin on Latin cuisine. In fact that is a little bit of an understatement. Looking through different recipes, the mark of Chifa, or Latin Chinese, seems to have found its way into Peruvian dishes through things like:

  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger root
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Fried Rice

There are other seasonings,starches, and meats as well but these to me seem to have strong appeal when combined with Peruvian food and the signature Aji pepper. In fact the fried rice, has become a sensation in the Latin American palette of the Peruvian diner.

Chifa’s, or little chinese restaurants serving the fried rice, are very prevalent in many cities. By design substituting the Aji peppers for Chinese peppers takes a dish with a lot of flavor and Peruvanizes it (I think I made the term Peruvanize up, but just go with it). In fact fried rice, called Arroz Chaufa in Spanish, has so many attributes that have allowed it to proliferate.

You can mix any meat or vegetable..

Shrimp,fish, onions, carrots, pork, beef, and chicken, are just of the few things you can add to it. So whatever you serve, you can give it the unique signature of whatever you have.

You can season it scores of different ways

Latin fried rice can be infused with traditional Asian seasonings like soy sauce or ginger root. Or you can Peruvanize the flavor with an Aji Lima pepper to fire up the heat. You can really add in other seasoning elements as well to put a spin on this Cantonese favorite.

Leftovers no more

You can also just stir up a dish of Arroz Chaufa with leftover rice. Then add new or leftover elements and create a delicious dish. You can of course add the rice to any other dish, whether it gets rolled into a shell, or as a garnish for another main course.

And it is part of the local diet

And you will see it at many non Chifa restaurants. It is a popular dish as part of the regular diet. It also seems to have unlimited potential.

Latin Cooking in Williamsburg

At El Sabroson, we offer authentic Latin American cooking including some Peruvian Chifa dishes like Lomo Saltado. Come immerse yourself in the many Latin culinary subcultures at our lunch buffet

See you there

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Getting A Great Margarita in Williamsburg, Virginia

August 22, 2016Read More

It has been a long day of shopping, sightseeing, or just screaming your head off at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and you realize you need a margarita. When someone thinks of margarita, they usually imagine a giant flower shaped glass opening up to a foggy mixture of tequila, triple sec, and lime. To crown it, a ring of salt sits on the outer edge of the glass. The bigger the glass the better. This is at least, what I think of.

A Great Williamsburg Margarita

There are no bad margaritas. They are kind of like pizza. When they are bad they are good. But when they are good THEY ARE GREAT. But I am interested in the most authentic knock your socks off margarita when I am in Williamsburg, tourist, local, or otherwise. Before we talk about where to get this great Mexican concoction here is a little background

margarita_in_colonial_williamsburgThe Proud Beginning(s) Of The Margarita

Like all great inventions this one is contested. I pulled the multiple rundown of cocktail creation theories from Wikipedia. Here is a small taste of some of the origin stories

  • 1938 Carlos Herrera creates a drink at this restaurant for a dancer who was allergic to many types of alcohol but not tequila.
  • 1941 Don Carlos Orozco offers an experimental drink to the daughter of the German Ambassador. Her name was Margarita Henkel. The drink was named for her.
  • 1942 Francisco Morales mixed the miracle drink in Tommy’s Place Bar.
  • 1945 Jose Cuervo claims the drink was invented for showgirl Rita De La Rosa
  • 1948 A Dallas woman named Margarita Sames created the drink for her guests in Acapulco
  • 1948 Santos Cruz created the margarita for Peggy Margaret Lee. The Spanish version of Margaret is Margarita

And it goes on and on..

So here is what I think. Thank you to all the great margarita experimenters and margarita makers. All of you knew there was a magical connection between Agave Tequila, triple sec, and lime. It played out in many different ways but in the end they are all in the family of margaritas. In fact I think we should honor these cocktail pioneers with a statue, no better yet a memorial bar somewhere between Texas and Mexico. Maybe a border memorial bar. A somber yet fun place where you can pay homage to these early drink inventors.

margarita_barI am thinking there could be a 300 foot high giant margarita statue next to this bar. The bar should be by the highway so drivers passing by can be reminded of the toil that went in to making this drink…and they may be thirsty and you won’t miss a 300 foot mega margarita glass.

The Great Williamsburg Margarita Today

Naturally no one has realized the genius of these plans. But you can enjoy an authentic Mexican margarita at El Sabroson Mexican Restaurant in Williamsburg.

See You There

williamsburg margarita