If you’re looking for cuisine that combines bold flavors with fresh ingredients, Latin food is the way to go. As tasty as Latin fare is, there are still quite a few misconceptions surrounding it. This guide separates fact from fiction so you can make the most of your next experience dining at a Latin restaurant.
What Are Misconceptions About Latin Food?
1. It’s Only Mexican Fare
While tacos, enchiladas, and burritos are decidedly tasty, there’s so much more to the Latino food experience. Latin America is comprised of several diverse countries, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, and many others.
Each one of these countries has a host of culinary influences, which means there’s a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. For example, Argentina is known for its delectable chimichurri sauce, while Guatemala offers sweet mashed plantains, a dish that is known as rellenitos de plátano.
2. It’s Extremely Spicy
There are many peppers used in Latin cuisine, but not all of them are hot. For example, bell peppers are better known for their sweetness than being spicy. If you like a little bit of spice but don't want to go overboard, there are also mildly spicy varieties, such as serrano and red cayenne peppers.
3. There Are No Vegetarian Options
Once again, it’s a matter of which Latin country is providing the cuisine. Countries near the coast, which include Peru and Ecuador, offer seafood-based fare that’s perfect for pescatarians.
Peru has choritos a la chalaca, which consists of steamed mussels and spicy salsa, while Ecuador offers viche de pescado, also known as fish soup. Rice, beans, corn tortillas, guacamole, mashed plantains, yuca, and grilled vegetables are all vegetarian- or vegan-friendly Latin staples, depending on how they're prepared.
4. Tequila Is Your Only Choice for Alcoholic Beverages
While a tasty margarita is a great accompaniment to a meal, that’s not your only option when dining at a Latin restaurant. If you’re in the mood for a seafood dish, a glass of dry white wine is the perfect match.
If you're enjoying carne asada, a bold red is the way to go. You can also enjoy horchata, which is a coffee-flavored liqueur that is often paired with vodka to make a Latin-inspired white Russian.
When you’re in the mood for Latin cuisine, you don’t have to go any farther than Queens. Mamajuana Cafe Queens specializes in South American and Caribbean Hispanic dishes prepared by Chef Sergio Gonzales. They also provide an amazing menu of cocktails, as well as a robust wine list to ensure there is something for every diner. Check out their menu online, or call (718) 565-6454 for more info or to schedule a reservation.