Hispanics in America Mimic Fifties Food and Family Values -- Are Poodle Skirts and Pressure Cookers Next?

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The most remarkable aspect of Hispanics in America isn't that they are the nation's largest ethnic minority (one of every two people added to the nation's population between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, was Hispanic). Instead, it is how closely they exemplify our idealized concept of 1950s America. The explosion in the number of US Hispanic consumers is increasing the demand for authentic Latin cuisine and influencing what Americans are cooking and eating. Salsa and hot sauce sales surpass ketchup. Tortillas enable the popular "wrap" sandwich, while fresh avocados, mangos, and cilantro are available in every supermarket. Hispanic Heritage Month, observed from September 15th-October 15th is the perfect time to experience one the greatest imports from south of the border - Latin cuisine.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Hispanics in America isn't that they are the nation's largest ethnic minority (one of every two people added to the nation's population between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, was Hispanic). Instead, it is how closely they exemplify our idealized concept of 1950s America.

They are young (their median age is about where the whole nation was in 1955) and more often live in large, traditional, married-with-children families with lots of participation from grandparents. More often than not, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they eat family meals at home, and spend less than average on alcohol. They're moving to the suburbs, tend to be community-oriented, have high aspirations for their children, prepare home cooked meals, and reconnect with the family around the kitchen table.

Hispanic Heritage Month, observed from September 15th-October 15th is the perfect time to experience one the greatest imports from south of the border - Latin cuisine. Latinos are creating a new force in the kitchen as "Hispanic" weaves its way into all U.S. food and beverage categories. Salsa and hot sauce sales surpass ketchup. Tortillas enable the popular "wrap" sandwich. Fresh avocados, mangos and cilantro are available in virtually every supermarket, and in 2009, sales of "Latin" spices like cumin, ginger and chili pepper increased, on average, 900%.

The explosion in the number of US Hispanic consumers is heating up the demand for authentic Latin cuisine and dramatically influencing what all Americans are cooking and eating, according to Chefs George Duran and Elsie Ramos. They are Latin-cooking experts who are part of IMUSA's Chef Program. IMUSA is the global leader of the Hispanic housewares market and their chef program is the first of its kind to showcase the best chefs from the world of Latin cooking.

While predictions about a Poodle Skirt resurgence is beyond their expertise, Chefs Ramos and Duran concur that in a back-to-basics economy perhaps it is natural to return to basic ingredients and techniques. And with 83% of Hispanic women working outside the home, quick cooking methods including Pressure Cookers, are unquestionably back in vogue.

Chef Ramos appreciates that Pressure Cookers are quick, energy efficient and don't heat up the kitchen, "Unlike the older version of the pressure cooker, you don't hear, see or feel the steam! Ramos recommends that cooks simply season and place meat and vegetables in the Pressure Cooker, cover tightly and take a few minutes to relax after work while dinner cooks. Simple. Easy. Healthy.

"The pressure cookers of my childhood are a thing of the past, "reports George Duran. "IMUSA's pressure cooker comes with several safety features--including heat regulation controls and multiple valves for pressure release. It's safe, easy to use--and boy does it cook things fast! I developed a recipe for a stew featuring lentils and chorizo sausage (a favorite combination from my South American youth), and literally all I did was pop the ingredients in the cooker, close it, bring it up to pressure (which the convenient red pop-up tab on the IMUSA unit indicates) and wait…for eight minutes! That's how long it took this amazing item to cook up one surprisingly flavorful and heavenly scented Latin dish. Now, I'm a proud member of Pressure Cooker Nation. So join me and make fresh, flavorful foods in nothing flat!"

Watch Chef George Duran demonstrate this recipe at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87y8RYn6Jok

Chorizo and Lentil Stew
Ingredients (Serves 8 - 10)

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium onion, chopped
2 Medium carrots, chopped
1 Green pepper, chopped
2 Cups brown lentils (about ¾ lbs.)
6 Cups chicken stock
1 14.5 Oz. can of diced tomatoes
3-5 Chorizo links (about 11 oz.), cut into ½ inch pieces
4 Garlic cloves
1 Bay leaf

Preparation
Over medium high heat add oil to your IMUSA pressure cooker and sauté onions, carrots, and green pepper for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to pressure cooker, mix once, cover, and bring to high heat. When the orange pressure regulator pops up, lower heat to medium and let cook under pressure for 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and using a wooden spatula, gently press on the pressure control valve (on the center of the lid) to allow all of the pressure to escape until the orange pressure regulator goes back down. Open lid and let rest for 5 minutes before serving

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Lauren Peck
IMUSA
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