El Sabroson Mexican and Latin Restaurant in Williamsburg is packed full of dishes from Spain and Latin America. Naturally they are authentic in the sense that they are prepared like they are in the home country. Many dishes, Latin or otherwise, come to the United States and get Americanized. Just look at Tex-Mex. It is kind of Mexican. It is kind of Texan. But it is all American and available everywhere in the form of fajitas and cafe style burrito bars.
Latin American And Mexican Restaurants Melting Pots On More Melting Pots
Most of our foods, like are culture, are mixtures of Americanized dishes with the foods of other countries. Usually because of immigration. This is one of the reasons we are a melting pot. But there was always an assumption made. The assumption is the United States is the only melting pot. But that is not true. Many countries, including Latin countries, are melting pots.
You probably guessed where I am going with this. Many Latin countries have dishes that have been influenced….you guessed it, by other cultures whose people immigrated. This thought was inspired by a Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado.
Lomo Saltado is Peruvian Beef Dish With A Special Influence
On first glance Lomo Saltado looks like a hearty South American dish. Strips of beef over rice with tomatoes,red onions,,parsley,Amarillo chili and of course french fries( you can never really go wrong with those)mixed in. But the dish is so much more. It has soy sauce, a definite Asian staple for flavoring food. It is then stir fried in a large plan. Upon reading how it is made it is not a Peruvian native dish. It is a Chinese dish that has been Peruvanized with beef and seasonings. And french fries, which are a global sensation, are part of that Peruvanization.
Americanized Chinese Food
In North America we have our own Americanized versions of Chinese favorites that only distantly resemble their Sino cousins. But this is a Latin American style Chinese, via Peru. In fact the Chinese influence has had a culinary impact on the Peruvian diet
Chifa: Peruvian Chinese Food
Chifa or Peruvian Chinese Dishes are the result of immigration from Asia to Peru. Very similar to Chinese immigrants in the United States, the dishes of the old world and the new Latin American world begin to mix. To appeal to the Latin palate some of the dishes have modified with a Latin influence like chiles and potatoes.
Some of the dishes are very similar to the Americanized Chinese food cousins. The fried rice, called Arroz Chaufa is very similar fried rice you might find in New York City. Wonton soup is another dish where it is very close to American wonton soup (sopa wantan)
A Tasty Twist
But this is where it gets interesting. As the popularity of Latino and Mexican food grows in America, will the Peruvanized Chinese dishes get fused into Americanized Peruvian Chinese Dishes. Think about the possibilities with this list of fictional but potential entrees:
- Lomo Saltado Burritos
- The Saltado dish meets the burrito shell as it is filled with rice, french fries, meat, soy sauce, chiles and more.
- Chilies Papas Fritas Con Queso
- The classic American junk food with a spicy twist as we combine Nacho cheese and chilies, a dusting of onions and parsley over french fries
- Mongolian Saltado
- The Lomo Saltado dish with mongolian sauce adding a tasty twist to the beef
Pupusas con Arroz Carne
The Pupusa filled with beef fried rice and then fried
The Sky is the limit..
The future of Latin / Asian fusion is wide open for a host of new dishes never seen before. I can’t wait to taste them. In the meantime come visit us at El Sabroson for flavorful Latin American and Mexican food favorites.