Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month
By: Andreana Chou
Latinx Heritage Month spans from September 15th to October 15th. Why start on September 15th, instead of September 1st or October 1st? Well, September 15th aligns with the Independence Day celebrations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Prior to these Latin nations, Mexico and Chile also declared their independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 and September 21, 1810 respectively.
Over the years, many people have come to align more closely with the terms “Latino,” “Latinx,” or “Chicano” instead of “Hispanic.” In the 2020 U.S. Census, 62.1 million people identified as Hispanic or Latino. This is a 23% increase from the numbers in the 2010 U.S. Census. Plus, there may be many more folks with Hispanic or Latino roots who identify as multiracial in census surveys.
In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, HRN has compiled a playlist of episodes that highlight the celebrations and challenges of Hispanic and Latinx food leaders and eaters. This playlist is not a comprehensive collection of all episodes related to the Hispanic and Latinx community, so we encourage you to keep exploring in our archives!
Cooking in Mexican from A to Z Episode 19: Tracing the Development of Mexican Cuisine: Hosts Aarón Sánchez and Zarela Martínez are joined by their friend Jeffrey Pilcher to talk about the development of Mexican Cuisine; from indigenous, pre-hispanic cultures up to its spread in the United States. Jeffrey is a food historian who teaches at the University of Toronto and has written numerous books, including Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food. Together, they discuss how food cultures develop, from childhood on, and how individual chefs push the evolution of a cuisine. They cover everything from "trends" in Mayan cooking to the development of Tex-Mex, and Aaron gives his take on what he sees as the current trends in Mexican cuisine in the U.S. and Mexico.
A Taste of the Past Episode 207: Cuban Cuisine: The food of the Cuban table has largely been reproduced in other countries primarily by those who left their home in an attempt to recreate the tastes and smells of their past. Author Ana Sofia Pelaez joins Linda today on A Taste of the Past to talk about rediscovering the flavors of Cuba, the shifting of Cuban foods over generations, and what makes Cuban cuisine unique from other Latin foods.
Meant To Be Eaten Episode 85: Lori Flores on Farmworkers' Rights Amid and Beyond the Pandemic: Lori Flores is a Stony Brook University history associate professor whose research focuses on Latino life, labor, and politics in the United States from the post WWII-era to the present day. In this episode, she discusses farmworkers’ rights amid and beyond the pandemic, the hypocrisy of “essential” worker treatment in agriculture, and directing allyship to food workers.
A Hungry Society Episode 23: Von Diaz on Marrying Puerto Rican Food and Southern Food in 'Coconuts & Collards': “I was like so many immigrant kids, I was living with my feet in two worlds. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, which was way less than glamorous, you know, strip malls...there weren’t a lot of cultural outlets where I grew up...and then I would go to Puerto Rico and be immediately confronted with all this culture.” Von Diaz, a writer, author, and radio producer based in New York City talks about her cookbook, Coconuts & Collards, the naturally occurring similarities in foods of different cultures, and her go-to Waffle House order.
Eat Your Heartland Out Episode 12: The Mix: Somali & Peruvian Cuisine Under One Midwestern Roof: Restaurateurs Alberto Denegri and Farxaan Jeyte joined forces to bring Peruvian and Somali food to the residents of Columbus, Ohio with their restaurant, The Mix Charcoal Chicken. Listen to them tell the story of how traditional dishes of Peruvian roasted chicken and Somali camel became popular in this Midwestern college town!
Food Without Borders Episode 77: FWB Presents: At the Table with Elizabeth Peralta: Elizabeth Peralta speaks to Sari as the Executive Director of the National Supermarket Association (NSA), which represents over 800 independent stores, with 99% of them being Latino-owned. Peralta sees the NSA as the embodiment of ‘"the immigrant American dream," where their members have made it their mission to give back to their communities. Tune in to hear how the NSA is working to address challenges during the pandemic, how it builds partnerships with different companies, and how we can help supermarket workers during the pandemic.
Buenlimón Radio Episode 41: From Tech to Table: The accomplished California chef Andrés Pantoja is giving 2,000 free meals a night to the same Boys and Girls Club he grew up with. Pantoja traded his job preparing food for big tech entrepreneurs in Palo Alto for this heart-warming endeavour. Hosts Mariana and Diego had the pleasure of asking him about it... in Spanglish!
Feast Yr Ears Episode 127: Three of my favorite things: Art, Fermentation and Ice Cream: Did you know that probiotics can survive frozen temperatures? Katiushka Melo explored this concept as creator of Culture Cream, a company focused on fermented, probiotic ice cream and sorbet. Melo, also an artist, grew up in rural New York with immigrant Chilean parents. Listen to hear how her art and ice cream come together in her work.
The Line Episode 15: Chef Eduardo Sandoval of Tygershark: Chef Eduardo Sandoval grew up in Texas with Mexican heritage, but only started learning Spanish when he started working in the kitchen. Learn about how his experiences of running a pop-up restaurant contrasted with working in a high-end restaurant, how he builds his ideas at Tygershark from Korean dishes, and how he takes criticisms in stride.
Cooking in Mexican from A to Z: Episode 16: Birria from Jalisco to Chicago: Hosts Aarón Sánchez and Zarela Martínez are thrilled to present another parent-child duo who dedicate their lives to preserving their culture through food. Juan and Jonathan Zaragoza’s family-run Chicago restaurant Birria Zaragoza is known as the best birria in Chicago and, according to Aarón, Chicago is the best Mexican food town in the country. Juan started making birria at his restaurant in 2007, and since then he’s garnered national attention for his version of the Jalisco comfort food. Their birria is very unique. It's made with goat that’s marinated in ancho-based mole, then combined with a tomato-base consomé and roasted overnight in lard for a crispy tender meat that The Infatuation declared the “best goat tacos” anywhere. Listen in for this heartwarming conversation between two families striving to live the American dream while promoting authentic Mexican culture.
A Hungry Society Episode 6: Decolonizing Food and Travel Culture with Bani Amor: Bani Amor is a queer travel writer, photographer and activist from Brooklyn by way of Ecuador who explores diasporic identities, the decolonization of travel culture, and the intersections of race, place and power in their work. They've been published in Bitch Magazine and Apogee Journal, among other outlets. This episode discusses how race and power impact travel narratives as well as dining and memorable dining experiences Bani has had while traveling.