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Latin American food: a cultural experience

April 28, 2020

The words ‘chocolate cake’ in English only have four syllables. While economical, they are not nearly enough to really relish saying it, or even to get a sense of its magnificence. Surely, such a culmination of divine ingredients, careful preparation and pure love deserve more.

On the other hand, in Spanish, food is truly understood and valued. Now ‘El pastel de chocolate’ has eight lavishing syllables. Each one travels leisurely across the dark velvet landscape of icing swirls, curls and peaks that shroud the rich, moist layers beneath.

These words begin delightfully with el pas-tel, then proclaim the best is yet to come with de. They tease you with a pause before the climax. Finally, cho-co-la-te articulated slowly and sensuously, allowing each syllable a moment to melt in your mouth. Yes, Spanish truly gives the Food of the Gods its rightful place in heaven.

However, the Spanish regard for food does not stop there. Although in English ‘I like chocolate cake’ merely denotes the chocolate cake as an inert object, incapable of anything other than being liked. Yet in Spanish, me gusta el pastel de chocolate animates the chocolate cake with the ability to like someone. ‘The chocolate cake likes me‘ sounds more guilt-free and even tastier, doesn’t it? El pastel takes responsibility unto itself for the liking, not you. Thanks, chocolate cake. So not to disappoint you, let’s spend some time together.

Food in Spanish has personality and if asked, an opinion. Therefore, it should be respected and treated accordingly. So, if the Spanish language perceives food like this, then imagine what it’s like to prepare, cook and eat in its kitchen? If you’re curious, then you need to travel on one of our culinary tours of Latin America.

Mexico SECTUR Mexico culinary food
Traditional Mexican food feast. Mexico culinary tour. Courtesy of SECTUR.