October 14, 2022

The Kentridge Senior Living Culinary Honors Hispanic Heritage Month

Category: Senior Living

Author: William J. Verna, Jr., Culinary Director

In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a week-long celebration of the contributions and influences Hispanic Americans have made on the culture and history of the United States. This observance was expanded from a week to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, to begin on September 15th, which recognizes the start of the Mexican War for Independence. All US presidents since 1988 have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark this historic date.

Today, there are roughly 63 million Hispanics living in the United States, that make up 19% of the population. They come from diverse countries and bring with them unique and different cultures and cuisines.

At The Kentridge Senior Living, we will be recognizing those culinary contributions by celebrating the food of Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. To honor Brazil, we will be preparing feijoada with white rice and Bolanos de bacalao, a popular pork and black bean stew with wilted greens, rice, and toasted cassava flour. Grilled rib steak with chimichurri will represent Argentina. And for Mexico, we will be preparing pork shoulder carnitas, in the style of al pastor, by using a similar marinade and utilizing some thinly sliced grilled pineapple as an accompaniment. This will then be served with some fresh avocado, cotija cheese, arroz verde, cilantro, pickled onion, and lime.

Growing up, I just had a fascination with the soccer team in Brazil and I can revisit that fascination by studying their cuisine and trying to recreate some classic national dishes. The same reason was with Argentina, except I was fascinated with their basketball team, so again just a way to reconnect with part of my childhood I enjoyed so much, just using a different avenue instead of sports.

There are so many ingredients being utilized in ways I never would have thought. For example, huitlacoche is a corn fungus that many Mexicans remove from the ear of corn and treat similarly to mushrooms. Different herbs and spices are used in foods you might not expect. Certain chorizos have cinnamon in them. Also, there is a heavier emphasis on fish and seafood than I originally anticipated. But the most important factor I think is they utilize as much of each animal as possible to minimize waste and respect the gift of nourishment the animals provide.

We hope you enjoy our interpretation of these dishes and learn a little more about Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina in the process!

The KentRidge Senior Living in Kent, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near University Hospital Portage Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Sunny Hill Golf & Recreation Inc, Stow-Kent Shopping Center, Kent State Univeristy Museum, The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, and Mad Cap Brewing Company.

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