Every year from September 15 – October 15, the U.S. celebrates the cultural contributions and influences of Hispanic and Latin American culture. The observation started in 1968 to celebrate the anniversary of the Independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration to a month-long celebration in order to honor the Independence Day of Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries. What better way to honor the occasion than with two classic, delicious Hispanic/Latin American dishes?
We’re cooking some classic dishes to get in the spirit!
The word tostoñes is derived from the Spanish term ‘tostar’, which means to toast. It’s a traditional side dish from the Caribbean and Latin America. Its origins are unknown and many countries still vie for the title of originators of this delicious dish to this day. Tostoñes are made with green plantains, vegetable oil, and an infamous “pink sauce” otherwise known as ketchup and mayo mixed together).
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¡Vamos a la cocina!
Classic tostones recipe
- Slice the platanos diagonally and then fry them in a skillet with vegetable oil — one to two minutes on each side until they are golden in color. Remove them from the pan onto paper towels. Pat the plantains to remove excess cooking oil.
- Pound the fried platanos flat with a hinged utensil made for the task called a tostoñera, or between two plates if you don’t have a tostoñera.
- Dip the flattened plantain slices in cold water.
- Fy them once again until they are crisp and golden brown. Remove the twice-fried platanos and place them on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and enjoy with your house-made pink sauce.
How to make ceviche
Our next recipe highlights a traditional appetizer dish that is most popular in South America called Ceviche. The name comes from the Quechuan word ‘siwichi’, which means fresh or tender fish. It originates from the indigenous tribes of Peru, where it is considered a national dish. You can use any fish you like, along with, cilantro, onion, and lots of lime. ¡Comeñcemos!
- Cut your fish into cubed, 1 inch, pieces and place them in a bowl.
- Squeeze 8 limes into the bowl and seal with saran wrap.
- Let the bowl chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Remove saran wrap and add chopped cilantro, onions, salt and pepper, and any other ingredient you prefer. Traditionally, sliced avocados, yams, cucumbers, and tomatoes are added to the dish to add some flare to it.
- Mix all the ingredients together and serve over warm tostadas, y ya. ¡Listo para comer!
Let’s keep the celebration going!
Hispanic Heritage month ends October 15, but until then, there are lots of ways to celebrate. Here are just a few:
- Support your local Hispanic/ Latin community by eating at your favorite Spanish restaurant.
- Listen to your favorite Spanish jams
- Learn a new salsa move
- Share art from local Latinx/Hispanic artists
- Simply take a moment to recognize the richness and beauty of the Hispano/ Latino influences in your everyday life.
¡Si se puede!
Join the conversation
Tell us how you’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month on Instagram.
Visual learner? Check out how to make this ceviche recipe on our Youtube, or how to make tostones.
¡Que viva los Hispanos y Latinos!