Crossing Flavors: a Celebration of Spanish Immigrants in the US
In light of the release of the “Illustrating Spain in the US” episode on Spanish immigrants in the United States, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington has partnered with the Basque Culinary Center to celebrate some of the flavors that these immigrants may have longed for.
Spanish immigration in the US has always been defined by regionalities. And exactly the same is true of Spanish cuisine. Spain, as a place where Europe, Africa, and America collide, is a kaleidoscope of different cultures. Each region has developed its own traditions, specialties, and of course, its very own flavors.
So when Spaniards started to flock to the U.S. following promises of a better life, they built regional communities, bringing their cultures (and flavors) to this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., has partnered with the Basque Culinary Center to highlight some traditional recipes from three different areas of Spain where some of these immigrants communities in the U.S. came from.
This contemporary approach to regional recipes is an homage not only to these Spanish immigrants who crossed the ocean, but to the flavors that they may have longed for in their new homes.
Canary Islands: Wrinkled potatoes with “Mojo Picón” air
In the late 18th Century, thousands of Canary Islanders settled in Louisiana, in small communities around New Orleans, and after more than 200 years, some of their descendants can still be found in the area. Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society in Saint Bernard and the Canary Islander Heritage Society of Louisiana in Baton Rouge are two of the local institutions that keep these communities alive by celebrating their Canary Islands roots.
Basque Country: Marmitako 2.0
Visitors to Downtown Boise, Idaho, may be surprised to find a thriving basque community here. The Basque Block, with a Basque Center, a Basque museum, and several Basque restaurants and stores, serves as a reminder of the influx of Basque immigrants who came to the American West to work as shepherds in the late 19th century.
Asturias: Rice Pudding with Cinnamon Crunch
Different industries have attracted immigrants from Asturias since the second half of the 19th century, from mining in states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Ohio, to cigar-manufacturing in Tampa, where the Centro Asturiano still stands today. And we cannot forget that one of the most celebrated Spanish-American citizens, chef José Andrés, is a true Asturiano indeed.
Learn more about Spanish Immigration in the U.S. and enjoy Ana Penyas and Seidedos illustrations in Illustrating Spain in the US – Ni Frailes Ni Conquistadores: Spanish Immigration in the United States (1868-1945).