October 4, 2019Read More
Halloween in America is vastly different from Dia De La Meurtos In Latino Countries. While both focus on themes that encompass death, they have vastly different purposes. In the United States Halloween has taken on a secular commercialized nature. It features costumes but looks at death in almost brash jestful way, making caricatures of scary costumes and celebrating the holiday with movies that are designed to scare you, all from the safety of a theater or couch.
Dia Del La Muertos follows lays down a sharp contrast to the playfulness and commercialism of this type of Halloween. First it starts the day after Halloween. It is not about fun, parties, scary movies, or a playful view of death. It focuses on a more spiritual aim. The goal is to honor deceased love ones. It is a sacred holiday that is about family and celebrating their lives.
There are many traditions surrounding this holiday. One tradition that is prominent is the use of altars to honor loved ones. The altar is a good symbol of the true purpose of this holiday. The altar is an offering place where family and friends make offerings to honor deceased relatives. You most often see these at the graveside or in homes.
Families construct altars at home and at gravesites to honor those that have passed. This can include a myriad of things like
- Symbolic items
- Assorted Toys
These can be very elaborate but it represents how different Dia De La Muertos is from American Halloween. The focus is on honoring and celebrating the departed. The altars are not necessarily designed to be sad. They are there to celebrate life in a tasteful way. Different Latin American or South American countries have different traditions that they do for this somber yet peaceful holiday. Regardless, you will see alters at many of them.
Day of the Dead altars: What’s on a traditional version. (2016, October 3). Retrieved from https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/holidays/day-of-the-dead/2016/10/03/day-of-the-dead-dia-de-los-muertos-altars/91511520/
Day of the Dead. (2001, October 28). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead
October 20, 2017Read More
Halloween in America means Day of the Dead quickly follows in Latin America. Though only separated by a day, the traditions of both form a stark contrast to the secular and Latino traditions. On the surface they may look a little similar but upon closer look, they are vastly different.
Latin American Food Traditions
One area, which you know I would address here, are the food traditions of Dia De La Muerta (Day of the Dead in Spanish). In North America food seems to based on the theme of secularity and fun. Candy passed out to children who are dressed as fictional ghoulish creatures is the main event followed by parties with junk food at every turn. Pizza, burgers, wings, and truckloads of sweets are the food of Halloween in North America. Death is almost mocked in this holiday, as well as any semblances of healthy food habits. In Latin America Day of the Dead is a serious holiday.
Day of the Dead is designed to honor the dead. It is a homage to family members past. This somber mood envelops just about every aspect of this November 1st Holiday. And included in this seriousness, is the food. The dishes made in the different Latin American countries have deep symbolic meaning.
Examples of Latin American Food Traditions
I pulled a few food and beverage customs and listed them here. This is not to say that there are not many important traditions that are not culinary, I am just featuring a sampling of them here.
In Ecuador one custom is to bring a purple drink called Colada Morada to the gravesites of loved ones. This is accompanied by a sweet bread, which is in the shape of a baby.
In El Salvador festivities include a late night pumpkin dish with honey.
In Nicaragua candy, fruit, and bread accompany other offerings on the gravesites of the deceased.
You see a similar theme in some areas of Peru where sweet foods and bread are often brought graveside
But regardless of the food, you do not see humor or commercialization of the macabre. It is a holiday of honor, and the foods and drinks reflect this.
Damaly Gonzalez October 21, 2016 celebration, dia de los muertos, Festival, Holiday, indigenous people, latin america, mexican celebrations, Mexico, et al. âDĂa de los Muertos Celebrations in Latin America & Caribbean.âÂ HipLatina, 15 June 2017, hiplatina.com/dia-de-los-muertos-celebrations-latin-america-caribbean/.
September 1, 2017Read More
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 onÂ 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.
Quick 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 notÂ Cinco De Mayo or even part of the same conflict
- It marked the beginning of the war not the end
- The warÂ 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.
May 4, 2017Read More
Williamsburg Virginia SignificanceÂ
Very few people see Cinco de Mayo in a Williamsburg Mexican restaurant as having a significant relationship with Williamsburg Virginia’s colonial history. While you enjoy one of our ice cold margaritas at El Sabroson restaurant or some of our delicious Mexican dishes to celebrate Cinco de Mayo it might surprise you to know there is a deep meaning behind Cinco De Mayo.
Cinco De Mayo:Â More Familiar than you think
Tell me if this does not sound familiar. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the trial of a young developing nation against a Tyrannical European power that was invading them. For Cinco De Mayo, the big European power was France and the developing nation in North America was Mexico. But you could just as easily replace these two countries with the British invading the American colonies and see the same pattern.
The War Origin of Cinco De Mayo
So Cinco De Mayo is really the study of freedom against oppression and tyrants, a burgeoning theme in Colonial Williamsburg. The Mexicans defeated a larger French army at El Pubela on May 5th 1862, which was a huge victory for the young nation.
The Battle of El Puebla
A little more background about what is going on that occurred on Cinco De Mayo. The French had invaded Mexico in the 1860s and were squaring off against a smaller weaker Mexican army at the battle of Puebla. The Mexicans overcame the French and defeated them. The defeat occurred on May 5th, 1862.
Many mistake Cinco de Mayo as Mexican Independence Day which is not true. Mexican Independence Day is September 16 but that doesn’t sound as good as Cinco de Mayo. I mean Septiember de diez y seis is a lot to get out in one breath. Just kidding.
Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Us
Come visit our restaurant to celebrate Sinco Cinco De Mayo in Williamsburg Virginia and enjoy fantastic Latin American food, and incredible drinks. Also try our margaritas and celebrate in style.
See you there
April 12, 2017Read More
If you have ever been to a Mexican restaurant you have either heard of or tried the chimichanga. The chimichanga or chimi as I affectionately call it, is one of the most iconic Mexican dishes in the American palette.
The chimichanga is somewhat like an empanada or burrito, but fried to golden perfection. Filled with meat, cheese and beans it is a flavorful favorite for many a Mexican dining experience.
The chimichanga like so many dishes at a Mexican American restaurant are really Americanized versions of Mexican food also referred to as Tex Mex. Â Burritos, Tacos, enchiladas and more all have been texcised (similar to Americanized but with Texas flair).
Origin of this Mexican dish
Like many dishes and Mexican food or beverage creations, many claim to be the originator. Unfortunately it is hard to narrow down the Mexican inspired Chimichanga to one specific origin point, very much like the margarita. But there are some great claims.
Somewhere in Arizona
I saw one persistent claim on Wikipedia about a Tucson restaurant in the 1920s where the cook drops a burrito into the fryer. At first she wants to say a curse word beginning with Chi but changes it to chimichanga meaning an unclassified dish. But the story didn’t go into the best part, leavingÂ me to use my imagination for that….
The first bite of the Chimichanga
I am guessing the chef retrieved the now fried burrito out of the oil. Waiting a few momentsÂ she let the oil drain and the burrito got cool enough to eat. Then that first bite. That moment of culinary greatness when you know you have something good and you can remember how you did it.
I too have experienced the first bite syndrome when I enjoy Mexican. That time from the moment the server brings the piping hot food to the time I get to taste it seems like an eternity. With a chimichanga, more so.
Having had a few chimichangas myself I have learned a few things
-They are good served piping hot
-They are always good
-The first few bites are magic
-I would bet this originator had that same feeling.
More Origins of the Chimi
This is not the only origin story. I had heard they were invented in Texas but many of the accounts point to Arizona. Even with this variance in accounts there are a few things I feel pretty confident about when pinpointing the Chimi’s origin.
-It originated or was officially named in the American Southwest
-It is a Mexican fusion dish
-It gained notoriety in the 20th century
Getting a great Chimichanga nearby
Now, you probably are thinking about Chimichangaâs. Come enjoy El Sabrosonâs Chimichanga as well as one of our many authentic Mexican food favorites.
Mexican favorites at ourÂ buffet
You can also enjoy many of our Mexican and Latin favorites at our daily lunch buffet. Bring your appetite, you are going to need it.
Getting Great Mexican food
El Sabroson offers Mexican food and other Latin food favorites. Most Mexican dishes you get in America are really Tex Mex. They still pull seasonings and methods from their authentic Mexican recipe cousins but are Americanized for the meat intensive flavor blasted mega sized American appetite.
Here is our location in Williamsburg, Virginia!
We are near everything like Busch Gardens, William and Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg
More Mexican Food Origin Articles
March 9, 2017Read More
Springtime means warm weather and in Mexico it means it is time for the Mexican Food and Wine Festival in late April. The festival features gourmet Mexican food with top regional wines.
One thing that caught my eye was the fact that in the midst of this Springtime festival of fine wine and regional favorites, there is going to be a gourmet taco competition. I do not use the term gourmet lightly. The competition:
- Features a dozen gourmet Mexican chefs
- Costs a $100 to enter
- Will have a vote at the end
I put a clip on this article of the festival that shows the different events of the festival including a past taco competition. It looked incredible.Â I would say it is a very serious competition for an authentic dish.
I am guessing there will be some wide variations due to the creative flair of the chefs and the variety of taco toppings. This could also be attributed as authenticity. While the taco started in one region of Mexico, it quickly found itâs way into the different regions of Mexico. Each region put there own spin on this iconic dish.
Another spin on this dish is it will served with gourmet wines. This idea intrigues me. I have never had to pair wine with tacos. I would imagine it would be a lot of fun to âfigureâ out what works. I will go out on limb and guess richer meat like steak or beef would tend to go with light or dark reds. A chicken or fish taco might lean toward the white wine family. Personally I think the taco goes with anything. It is like what vanilla is to ice cream, mix it, merge and it always works.
In a way the taco was made to be adapted. The simple idea of the tortilla with meat and toppings could be adopted to just about anything…and has. In America we have everything from Tex-Mex to fast food tacos which are more of a caricature of Tex-Mex food than the real deal.
Come Enjoy Tacos At Our Mexican Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia
If you cannot make it to Mexico which I would imagine many of us will not be leaving The Burg to be at this Festival at the end of April, we offer authentic Mexican and Latin Food at El Sabroson Restaurant on Waller Mill Road. You can get tacos made with:
- Charcoal Chicken
- Pulled Pork
- Pork and Pineapple
- Chorizo(sausage) and Chicken
Take It A Step Further: Mix Other Latin Foods With Mexican
You can also take it a step further and take your own gourmet taco journey at our buffet. Paired with many Mexican food favorites you see in our restaurant, you also have dishes of other Latin American cultures, giving you the ability to customize your own unique taco creations with dishes you will not get anywhere else.
See you at El Sabroson
January 24, 2017Read More
El Sabroson Mexican and Latin Restaurant in Williamsburg is packed full of dishes from MexicoÂ and Latin America. Naturally they are authentic in the sense that they are prepared like they are in the home country. Many dishes, Latin or otherwise, come to the United States and get Americanized. Just look at Tex-Mex. It is kind of Mexican. It is kind of Texan. But it is all American and available everywhere in the form of fajitas and cafe style burrito bars.
Latin American And Mexican Restaurants Melting Pots On More Melting Pots
Most of our foods, like are culture, are mixtures of Americanized dishes with the foods of other countries. Usually because of immigration. This is one of the reasons we are a melting pot. But there was always an assumption made. The assumption is the United States is the only melting pot. But that is not true. Many countries, including Latin countries, are melting pots.
You probably guessed where I am going with this. Many Latin countries have dishes that have been influencedâŠ.you guessed it, by other cultures whose people immigrated. This thought was inspired by a Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado.
Lomo Saltado is Peruvian Beef Dish With A Special Influence
On first glance Lomo Saltado looks like a hearty South American dish. Strips of beef over rice with tomatoes,red onions,parsley,Amarillo chili and of course french fries(you can never really go wrong with those)mixed in. But the dish is so much more. It has soy sauce, a definite Asian staple for flavoring food. It is then stir fried in a large pan. Upon reading how it is made it is not a Peruvian native dish. It is a Chinese dish that has been Peruvanized with beef and seasonings. And french fries, which are a global sensation, are part of that Peruvanization.
Americanized Chinese Food
In North America we have our own Americanized versions of Chinese favorites that only distantly resemble their Sino cousins. But this is a Latin American style Chinese, via Peru. In fact the Chinese influence has had a culinary impact on the Peruvian diet.
Chifa: Peruvian Chinese Food
Chifa or Peruvian Chinese Dishes are the result of immigration from Asia to Peru. Very similar to Chinese immigrants in the United States, the dishes of the old world and the new Latin American world begin to mix. To appeal to the Latin palate some of the dishes have been modified with a Latin influence like chiles and potatoes.
Some of the dishes are very similar to the Americanized Chinese food cousins. The fried rice, called Arroz Chaufa is very similar fried rice you might find in New York City. Wonton soup is another dish where it is very close to American wonton soup (sopa wantan)
A Tasty Twist
But this is where it gets interesting. As the popularity of Latino and Mexican food grows in America, will the Peruvanized Chinese dishes get fused into Americanized Peruvian Chinese Dishes. Think about the possibilities with this list of fictional but potential entrees:
- Lomo Saltado Burritos
- The Saltado dish meets the burrito shell as it is filled with rice, french fries, meat, soy sauce, chiles and more.
- Chilies Papas Fritas Con Queso
- The classic American junk food with a spicy twist as we combine Nacho cheese and chilies, a dusting of onions and parsley over french fries
- Mongolian Saltado
- The Lomo Saltado dish with mongolian sauce adding a tasty twist to the beef
- Pupusas con Arroz Carne
- The Pupusa filled with beef fried rice and then fried
The Sky is the limit..
The future of Latin / Asian fusion is wide open for a host of new dishes never seen before. I canât wait to taste them. In the meantime come visit us at El Sabroson for flavorful Latin American and Mexican food favorites.
November 17, 2016Read More
You know a tourist town like Williamsburg would not be complete without 1 or 2 great buffets. For visitors or locals, it seems almost essential to make the buffet style food extravaganza part of their meal plan. Whether you are a local or tourist, it is nice to sample a lot of different dishes with unlimited portions. Likewise, if you are looking for a great dinner buffet or lunch buffet in Colonial Williamsburg than I can tell you two you have to try.
If you are seafood person, you would go to the iconic Peninsula ocean food fest called Captain Georgeâs. It is a mega buffet with seafood prepared about a gazillion ways (not a real number).Â If you want a Mexican AND great Latin Buffet, the only choice is El Sabroson on Waller Mill Landing Road.
Williamsburg Latin Buffet
The buffet, prepared fresh daily includes authentic Mexican dishes like tortillas, tacos, and burritos that you can make yourself. It also includes authentic Latino favorites that for some areÂ a reminder of a taste of home thousands of miles away in South America.
Colonial Williamsburg Latin Buffet
Most Americans do not know the bounty of incredible delectable dishes offered throughout South and Central America. There are too many cultures in this region to sample every dish. Nevertheless, our buffet includes dishes featuring the recipes of South American And Central American cultures including:
- El Salvador
What makes a great Latin buffet you can enjoy in the âthe Burgâ
Two key things make a great Latin buffet you can enjoy in Williamsburg, Virginia. One is authenticity. The dishes cannot be caricatures of Latino cooking, but must be the actual dishes. The other key element for a smorgasbord is a huge variety of South American and Latino cooking from multiple countries. At El Sabroson we strive for both. Here are some of the dishes that allow us to bring true latino cooking North of the âborderâ.
Some of the dishes you will find on our buffet are:
- Pollo a Brasa
- Spanish Rice
- Refried Beans
- And lots more
Check out our alacarte menu
More About Mexican and Latino Cooking as well as El Sabroson:
September 22, 2016Read More
Compared to 30 years ago, many Americans, both in Williamsburg and abroad, make Tex-Mex or authentic Mexican food part of their monthly repertoire of meals. Many know of the food favorites. Some even
have sampled drinks like the Margarita. But few, even here in Williamsburg, have really moved beyond to other Latino favorites from South America
Mexican food, served here in El Sabroson as part of a balanced mix of different Latino favorites, is just one type of food in the regions heavily influenced by itâs Spanish origins. One recipe you must try is a Latin American sauce originating in Peru. This sauce is known as HuancaĂna Sauce.
No HuancaĂna is not Mexican Restaurant style nacho sauce..
In fact, HuancaĂna is much better than that. This sauce is a spicy cheese sauce that is both viscous, yet pours smooth. Itâs most famous pairing is over potatoes, which in the Spanish language are known as pappas. So basically it is potatoes with a creamy cheese sauce. I think once more Americans realize this is what HuancaĂna is, it will become a staple in the national diet(at least for people who like cheese, but who doesnât like cheese?).
Its An El Sabroson Restaurant of Williamsburg, Virginiaâs House Specialty.
The HuancaĂna sauce is one of the Especials de la Casa (house specialties). You can get it over potatoes. You can also get it over a root call Yucca. Personally I think a lot of people will really want to dump the sauce on tortillas or french fries once they realize how good it is. So what gives this sauce its distinct flavor..
What is in HuancaĂna sauce?
Originating in Peru, there are two main ingredients that give this sauce its zing. One is the Aji Amarillo chile pepper. This is also known as a yellow pepper and is very spicy. The other main ingredient is a crumbly white cheese known as queso fresco. These are blended with a starchy thickener like a cracker. You now have spicy fresh cheese sauce. This sauce can be dumped over potatoes or used as a dipping sauce. The combination of spices and cheese make it burst with flavor.
Spice warning: if spicy food is not your thing you may want to avoid this sauce as it is very spicy. If you like spices you will be in hog heaven.
For authentic incredible Latino food ranging from Mexican to Argentinian come visit us at El Sabroson restaurant 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
The 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 Tommyâs 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.
I 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 wonât 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