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
February 1, 2018Read More
The United States is not the only country that has a Valentine‚Äôs Day holiday. While the United States version is heavily commercial, we are not exclusive in celebrating this holiday devoted to love. Latin American‚Äôs have Valentine‚Äôs traditions as well..albeit different. In fact I started reading about what it is like in Peru.
Valentines Day in Peru, Latin America, and Beyond
Valentine‚Äôs Day in Peru is a festive holiday. Keep in mind though, this is South America and the weather is completely opposite of North America. Thus February is like our July, adding heat to this romantic holiday. Another difference is the orchid replaces the rose as the flower of choice.
This got me to thinking about celebrating Valentine‚Äôs Day in Latin America. The cold weather restrictions of a cold North American winter are now lifted. This really opens up the possibilities. Valentine‚Äôs Day in American usually means eating at a restaurant, going dancing, watching a movie, or just enjoying the comforts of home. But doing things outside is somewhat sparse. Yes, there is ice skating, but this may not spell romance or love for many people.
If you go to Latin America or South America for Valentine‚Äôs Day you can turn it into a vacation…
Warm Weather Valentines Day Vacation
You can literally have the ultimate romantic holiday at the beach, by the pool, eating outdoors in short sleeves, or walking in the park. In fact, if Valentine‚Äôs Day were a warm weather holiday in America, it would probably inspire outdoor festivals, vacation packages, and more.
And We Would Go Overboard
Summertime is wild enough in America. You would probably see fifty bazillion ads for Valentines‚Äô swimwear. On top of that there would be endless commercial tie ins. Anything with summer, sun for fun would have a big red heart added to it.
But this is only hopeful speculation‚Ä¶.
Williamsburg Virginia Valentine‚Äôs Day‚Ä¶Latin American Style
But For Now, In Williamsburg Virginia, we offer Latin American food that will warm your heart and palette, but the weather outside is still cold and unforgiving. So enjoy our Latin lunch buffet and Latin American specialty dishes for Valentines Day, or just when you want a warm experience and great food.
VALENTINE‚ÄôS DAY TRADITIONS IN PERU
Your Bibliography:¬†Lacostanerarestaurant.com. (2018).¬†Valentine‚Äôs Day Traditions in Peru. [online] Available at: http://lacostanerarestaurant.com/blog/valentines-day-traditions-peru/ [Accessed 30 Jan. 2018].
June 20, 2017Read More
As 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‚Äôs, 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