Latin Cuisine and Culture: Stories of Food and Family

Caceres’ favorite dish from Mexico City, Tacos al Pastor, puts a twist on the classic everyone knows and loves.

Traversari’s favorite traditional Nicaraguan dish, Gallo Pinto, is a simple combination of rice and beans.

In celebration of Latinx Heritage month, members of the Andover community shared their unique experiences about Latin cuisine and food. Each student chose a specific dish and described either its history, preparation, or prominence in their life. 

John Sanchez ’23

“My favorite dish is called Lomo Saltado which is basically the Peruvian version of beef stir fry… The main thing that I really like is how this dish hints at the messy history of Latin America… When taking a deeper dive into Latinx food, you get to see the culture fusions that go on.”

Sofia Traversari ’23: 

“In Nicaragua, there’s a traditional plate called Gallo Pinto, a combination of rice and beans, that people eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… Everyone has a different way of preparing it; some people add more rice while others add more beans… [In general,] everyone in Latin America is united through our similar tastes but are differentiated through the slight differences in dish preparation [from one country to the next].” 

Emiliano Caceres ’22

“My favorite dish is called tacos al pastor, which is the resident taco of Mexico City. It’s basically this pork taco marinated with this achiote, which gives it the bright red color… [It’s prepared by taking] the slices of pork and stacking them up in slices until it becomes this big thing on a stake. [Next,] it’s spun around when cooked so that one side is facing the fire and finally it’s shaved off into a taco.”

Sofía Garcia ’21:

“A lot of Peruvian food has Chinese influences because there’s a large Chinese population in Peru. A lot of food is cooked in a wok with steak, peppers, onions, spring onions, and aji, which is a type of yellow pepper.”