February is Black History Month when we celebrate African American heritage. In the 16th century, between 9 and 12 million African people were brought to the Americas as slaves. Afro-Latinos, people with African descent whose origins are in Latin America and the Caribbean are also part of this month celebration.
To honor Afro-Latinos, I have compiled a list of my favorite Latino dishes that highlight the many ways that African culture and traditions have influenced Latino culture. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite one!
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5 Latino Dishes That Feature Our African Heritage
This is a Brazilian Shrimp and Fish Coconut Stew whose origin is from West Africa. In fact, it still keeps the same Yoruba name which translates to “spicy seafood paste”. Get the recipe here.
Oh-my-goodness! I am so happy that our kitchen inherited Easter Africa’s fascination on plantains. Without the African influence in the Latino culture, we would not have delicious dishes like Hudut, or Alcapurrias.
Rondón dates back to the 16th century when the first African slaves were brought to Latin America. The original recipe consisted of fish broth, coconut milk and whatever fruits were available.
Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, anise and other warm spices are part of our kitchen after Northern Africans and Indigenous Americans blended traditions. Can you imagine your arroz con leche without cinnamon on the top? Yo tampoco!
Quibombo is a traditional Cuban okra strew mixed with plantain, pork, shrimp and other ingredients. The African Bantu tribes’s word for okra is kingombo. Okra is a popular staple in Northern African and historians believe that okra seeds were brought to the Americas by the African slaves.