For the good man there’ll be no stale bread.
Latino cuisine covers a large geographical area. From the Caribbean to Central America, each country exhibits a great variety and some similarities in food. No matter what the political climate is between the U.S. and Latin America, Americans have a taste for Mexican cuisine. Mexican food has been elevated to number one in popularity among ethnic foods in the U.S. Salsa gas become the number one condiment in the United States.
Rich Bayless, author of the cookbook
"Mexico: One Plate at a Time,"
writes, "To be completely healthy we have to exercise our connection to the world we live in. Food provides the perfect medium for that"
. Bayless also writes Mexican cuisine is the diet that provides just that. The flavors and tastes of Mexico also contain the elements and influences of Europe, Africa and the U.S. The popular cuisine of "Tex-Mex" is based on Mexican food. In Mexico, many traditions which are practiced today are built upon traditions from the past. The day starts with a quick meal; the heaviest meal is still in the afternoon. Large fiestas and family gatherings, along with block parties and Saint Day celebrations are rituals of presentation. Grandmothers, mothers, daughters and aunts come together over huge kitchen tables to prepare all dishes.
Food is prepared for the entire neighborhood. In some households, snacks are prepared and placed on silver plates. The table is set with embroidered tablecloths and tropical fruits. Some mosels are set in a tiny cup, made from colored paper or on a little doily. Many snacks are enjoyed before and after meals.
Elena, a Chicana waitress working at a popular restaurant in nearby Hamden called "Ixtapa Grille", remembers her grandmother cooking with a lot of peppers (chiles). Breakfast might be eggs scrambled with chiles, tomatillos (small green tomatoes), along with beans. Lunch would be tamales (corn husk filled with meat). Dinner might consist of Mexican chili con carne, which is different from the American version of this dish. The Mexican version contains top sirloin rather than ground beef.