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    Authentic Latino Foods Deliver Fresh Flavors in a Lighter Form

    A new generation of authentic Latino foods is emphasizing pure ingredients, vivid flavors and lighter recipes, according to Latino Foods: The Next Wave Culinary Trend Mapping Report by the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts. In contrast to heavier, higher-fat Tex-Mex fare now integrated into American eating, emerging food trends from the Caribbean and Central and South America point to foods altogether more healthful and flavorful.

    A new generation of authentic Latino foods is emphasizing pure ingredients, vivid flavors and lighter recipes, according to Latino Foods: The Next Wave Culinary Trend Mapping Report by the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts. In contrast to heavier, higher-fat Tex-Mex fare now integrated into American eating, emerging food trends from the Caribbean and Central and South America point to foods altogether more healthful and flavorful.

    Driving the wave. Multiple drivers are propelling this new wave of Latino food forward
    in the U.S., beyond the growing and diverse Latino population now at roughly 15%,
    which is projected to rise to 25% by 2050. While Latinos seek to connect to their
    heritage through these regional foods, other Americans look to authentic recipes in an
    increased desire for original and fresh flavor.

    “Just as Pan-Asian foods have brought new flavor and ingredient excitement to the
    American plate and palate, now it’s time to make way for Pan-Latin,” says Kimberly
    Egan, CEO of CCD.

    New ingredients from diverse sources. The Mexican herb epazote, Yucatecan sour
    Seville oranges and mild Peruvian aji amarillo chiles are now flavoring restaurant fare
    and gourmet recipes. Mexican cheese and soft corn tortillas are transforming taco night
    into something more culturally authentic.

    Authentically healthful. This authenticity is also naturally healthier. The everyday
    foods of Latin America don’t relay as much on fat and instead use fresh ingredients for
    flavor. Think ultra-fresh tableside guacamole or lime-kissed rotisserie chicken. Olive-oil
    based Puerto Rican sofrito is the foundation of myriad regional dishes.

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