Hispanic Heritage Month: The Dishes We Eat


Imagery by Blue Linden

By: Kimberly

October 17, 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month is a month dedicated to celebrating the culture and impacts in history that Hispanics have had over time. One thing many Hispanics do to celebrate this month is cook food! There are many dishes made to honor their countries and cultures. Here are some dishes that are eaten and made from Hispanic cultures.


The pupusa is a Salvadoran dish. The pupusa is a tortilla filled with many different fillings, such as cheese, cheese, and pork (known as revuelta), bean and cheese, Loroco, and many more. Pupusas are typically served with curtido (Salvadoran cabbage relish) and tomato salsa. The pupusas were believed to originate in the Indigenous Tribe of Pipil, over 2000 years ago. Now, the pupusa is known as El Salvador’s national food. The largest pupusa made was 14ft and 9 in(4.50m) in diameter, and was made by Alcadia de Oloculta on November 8th, 2015.

Pabellón Criollo

The Pabellón Criollo is Venezuela’s national dish. Pabellón Criollo is made of juicy shredded beef, black beans, white rice, and fried sweet plantains. The Pabellón Criollo was made during the 16th century by Spanish Colonizers that came to what is now present-day Venezuela. They enslaved the indigenous people and African people. The Spanish colonizers treated the indigenous and African slaves poorly. Many times they left them deprived of food. Only sometimes they would get food, but it was leftovers. With time, the food they were given began to represent their struggle. Later, the Venezuelans chose 4 ingredients to represent their ethnics group. The brown beef and yellow plantains were chosen to represent the indigenous people, the white rice to show the European settlers, and the black beans to represent the Africans.


Baleadas are big, soft tortillas with refried beans, fresh cheese, and Honduran cream. Sometimes egg and avocado are also added to them. The Baleada was invented by a single mother in La Ceiba in 1964. She had a food stand near a railway station that took workers to banana plantations. She sold some of the first baleadas which were made with a tortilla, refried beans, and cheese. One day, she was shot . After, people started saying “Vamos a comer adone la Baleada ”, (we’re going to eat where the lady was shot), and as time passed the word Baleadas became the word used to talk about the dish.


Empanadas are a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries of Latin America and the South of Europe. The name empanadas originated from the word Empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. An empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing. The stuffing consists of a variety of meats, vegetables, or fruits. Empanadas have their origins in Spain and Portugal. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520 mentions empanadas filled with seafood. It is believed that empanadas come from samosas, an Arabic meat-filled pie. There is a record for the most empanadas made in 8 hours. This world record was accomplished by, Asociación Propietarios de Pizzerías y Casas de Empanadas de la Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 11th, 2018. They accomplished this by making a total of 11,472 empanadas.

These are just some of the dishes made to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. There are many more Dishes eaten and made during this month. What are some of your favorite dishes?