After spending a good deal of time at home with my family, I have a greater appreciation for the time we spend together at the dinner table. Initially, it was a bit strange. I hadn’t spent much time with my family—especially at the dinner table—since I attended my previous school.
Mealtime has always been a source of excitement for me. Coming from a Hispanic household, we had a variety of cuisines. Many of them were tropical and seafood-based, as my mom grew up in a seaport facing the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes it was more Mediterranean, based on my grandmother’s southern Iberian heritage. What was interesting though was the story that came with each meal.
My mom would always tell me stories of how she grew up eating fish every day and how the fruits were always fresh off the trees. She carried these recipes with her when she emigrated to the U.S. during her adolescence. So when she began teaching me these recipes over the summer, I felt as if she were passing down those stories to me. I felt a greater connection with the ingredients used—most of them come from a supermercado Latino, especially the perfect corn tostada—and subsequently with my heritage and culture. When squeezing the limes, I would imagine the warm sea breeze of the Pacific coast. Or when cutting the cilantro, I’d imagine myself in a hectic yet serene plaza of an Andean town. I would go so far as to say that, yes, I am a foodie, but I feel like that connection with food goes way deeper than what meets the eye.
My favorite meal I made this summer most definitely has to be tostadas (as pictured). Although this meal originates from Mexico, it’s a common dish in my household. With the mixture of fried beans, lettuce, seasoned chicken, and an assortment of cheese and herbs, every bite is a surprise. It’s usually the go-to dish I’d make for friends who are interested in Latin meals! I’ll be a bit sad when I won’t be able to have my mom’s home-cooked meals … but the wait will be all worth it!