Food is amazing. Not only is it necessary pleasure to sustain ourselves with, it is also a wonderful way to learn about and embrace different cultures of the world. Some foods become so popular even outside of their country of origin that they are embraced not as something exotic or foreign, but just as another delicious meal to be enjoyed. Think of all the Latino foods that are popular in the USA. Some Latino foods have become so popular in the U.S. that hardly a thought is given to where they come from, but it's always nice to know where those spectacular flavors first started off, don't you think?

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This seems like the perfect time to take consider where some of the most popular Latino foods in the U.S.A. came from, but please be warned that you will probably develop a craving for one or more of these delicacies.

Flan 1


Image via shok/Flickr

Flan is most associated with Mexico, but its origins go back as far as ancient Rome and just about all of Central and South America love flan.


Tamales 2

Tamales originated in Mesoamerica and were used as portable food by the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, and Tolteca cultures.


Ceviche 3

My darlings, the origin of ceviche is disputed. Let's just say that all kinds of Latin American countries make kick-ass ceviche.

Platanos fritos 4

Platanos fritos

Image via JennyYo

Fried plantains are made anywhere that plantains grow, but I can't think of them without thinking of Cuban food.


Pupusas 5


Image via manda_wong/Flickr

Pupusas hail from El Salvador. I've never been to El Salvador, but thank goodness pupusas made their way to me.


Tacos 6

Origins of tacos are disputed, but I'm thinking it's pretty safe to say they come from Mexico.


Quinoa 7

Quinoa has always been big in the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. Now, it's big in the U.S.A. too.

Empanadas 8


Image via morrissey/Flickr

Empanadas are another culinary delight that are made in all sorts of Latin American countries, so you will find many delicious variations and many countries will claim them as their own. Empanadas appear to originate in Galicia and Portugal.


Caesar salad 9

Legend has it that the Caesar salad was born in Tijuana, Mexico at the hands of an Italian immigrant. I do believe that makes the salad a Mexican citizen.

Arepas 10


Image via amishrobot/Flickr

Arepas are popular in Colombia and Venezuela, but can also be found in other parts of Latin America.


Paella 11

This delicious rice dish comes from the east coast of Spain. There are all kinds of variations on it with seafood or without, some key ingredients are saffron and olive oil.

Salsa 12

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the salsa most U.S. Americans have come to know is of the spicy Mexican variety.


Burrito 13


Image via N0fx/Flickr

It's easy to assume that the burrito comes from Mexico, but you can't have a burrito without a flour tortilla. Corn tortillas, which historically have been more popular in Mexico, cannot hold a burrito. The first reference to a burrito was made in Texas.

Yuca 14


Image via msabcmom/Flickr

Yucca is and always has been a staple in Caribbean cuisine.


Ropa vieja 15

Ropa vieja

Image via ilovememphis/Flickr&l

Supposedly, ropa vieja originated in the Canary Islands, but I'll bet ya' that if you ask a Mexican where it's from they will say Mexico and if you ask a Cuban, they will say Cuba and so on and so forth.