Hispanic Heritage Month: Kitchen Tools That Bring Flavors and Traditions Together!

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cooking utensils

When we think of cuisine, it’s important to remember that within the Hispanic community there are different cultural traditions and cooking methods. There are some Hispanic cooking traditions that incorporate spicy seasonings, while other culinary traditions infuse flavors that are mild to the palate. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s look at a few of the kitchen tools that make cooking a culinary celebration of all the dishes that recognize the diversity of the Hispanic community.

Mortar and Pestle- Sure your food processor is quicker but to cook the authentic way, as it is done in many Hispanic homes, the mortar and pestle is the way to go. Thorough grinding and mashing of the plants with the mortar and pestle actually expels the essential oils, therefore releasing the full flavor. Mortar and pestles are also used to grind salt, pepper, and spices.

Cast Iron Pan- Cast iron pans are versatile! They are wonderful for frying arepas, tortillas, plantains, Dominican salami and fried queso(cheese), one pan meals, and so much more.

Comal- A comal is a flat cast iron griddle. It sits on top of the stove. It is used to toast chiles and spices. It can also be used to sear meat, cook tortillas.

Citrus Squeezer- Lemons, limes, grapefruit, and sour orange is used for everything from seasoning meats to making teas and marmalades. A citrus squeezer will make the job of extracting the juice easier.

Ramekins-Ramekins are little ceramic cups. They are used to cook in and eat directly from. Mini casseroles, and a custard dessert called “flan”, are just some of the uses for ramekins.

Meat Pounder- Often recipes call for thin slices of meat, a meat pounder is great for making all varieties of meat thinner for dishes such as traditional sandwiches and main courses.