Growing up in Miami, whether you’re of Latin descent or not, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll have some Latin influences coursing through your veins - whether it’s music, fashion, or in my case, food. While I’ve got nothing but love for my country (‘Murica) and some good ole BBQ food, there’s something to be said for the traditional Latin classics.
I’ve always joked that I am an honorary Latina, and it isn’t a hard role to play given my affinity for Latin food and culture from an early age… not to mention the fact that I surround myself with Hispanics on a daily basis.
My friends from the Northeast might not be able to pronounce nor understand my love for plátanos, tostones and vaca frita…but this gringa couldn’t imagine growing up without this variety of options at my beck and call.
I feel #blessed to have grown up in a place that has such a melting pot of cultures, and therefore foods, at my disposal.
Now, here’s an insider tidbit for my aforementioned Northeastern friends, or my “fellow gringas” as I affectionately call them. Most home-made Hispanic meals wouldn’t be complete without one crucial element: Coca-Cola. Whether it’s being used as a key ingredient in a dish (take Asado Negro, for example), or merely as an accompaniment to any delicious Latin meal, Coca-Cola has always been a staple at the dinner table.
So, this Hispanic Heritage Month, Coca-Cola decided to pull on the heartstrings of Latinas nationwide by launching “Sabor A Casa” or the “Taste Like Home” program, which ties together culture, food, family and memories.
In order to bring this idea to life, Coca-Cola partnered with Michelle Bernstein for one night only to host an intimate dinner that featured authentic Latin cuisine paired with Coke – and somehow, this little gringa snuck her way in! Thanks to Coca-Cola and Michelle, I was able to role-play my Latina fantasy for just one night.
I was blown away by each dish Michelle prepared, and even more in awe of the camaraderie, warmth and nostalgia that surrounded me at the table. Guests swapped stories of their favorite dishes from home, and recalled the fact the Coke was ALWAYS a part of the equation.
Whether you’re Latina, Gringa or other, I think the Sabor A Casa program has a message that everyone can relate to: there’s nothing quite like a delicious home-made meal shared with good friends or family.
Now as you feast your eyes on the fan favorites from the evening, I’ll leave you with a few parting words: Buen provecho & Salud!