As a Latina who lives far from her hometown and a cooking lover, Latino food always brings great memories and connects me to my roots, giving me a great smile and a large plate. Maybe I haven't been lucky, or my palate is very demanding, but I can count the few times I have eaten good, tasty, and healthy Mexican food in the US. So most of the time I decide to cook it myself. I have a molcajete that belongs to my grandmother, where she made the most delicious salsas and guacamole; now, the only challenge is to find the proper ingredients outside Mexico. South and North Carolina are not famous for authentic Mexican ingredients or restaurants, so finding a good Latino "tiendita" feels like heaven.
Many of the different industrial products, filled with colorants and harmful elements, even on a simple tostada, made my life difficult. That is why, when we decided to go to Expo West, I got very excited.
I was so surprised to learn about excellent Latino food, with beautiful companies that do keep not only authentic ingredients in their products but also have sustainable practices that pursue and represent tremendous values. And even though they are so plenty that will take me pages and pages to share, I'll share the ones that grabbed my attention. As a disclosure note, be ready to hit the grocery store or buy online because these products won't open just your appetite but will motivate you to be part of this movement, hopefully inspiring us all to be more responsible consumers. "Buen Provecho -Enjoy"
Being Mexican, when someone in the US tells you, "Careful, this is a very hot salsa," you know it'll be like ketchup mild, but Tia Lupita is the Bomb of hot sauces, with authentic flavors and natural ingredients. It is like the topping heaven of tacos, tostadas, or any other dish you choose. The Salsa Macha is just out of this world; I hope nobody notices I was the one that almost finished the sample plate with tortilla chips (Sorry, Tia Lupita team, it was me!) And their tortillas are like a trip to traditional "tortillerias" in Mexico, where you roll them and eat them on your way back home. Hector Saldivar, the Founder/Owner, keeps the legacy of his mom Tia Lupita ("Aunt Lupita"), in every product they sell. And the main ingredient on their tortilla chips and tostadas? Nopal-Cactus! Now you can celebrate Taco Tuesday without remorse thanks to this carb and calorie-friendly product; You are welcome!
Check them out at tialupitafoods.com / @tialupitafoods
Chiki Chiki Bom Bom
While navigating between thousands of people and aisles at Expo West; a great tune took our attention. Ecuadorian vibes on a colorful booth with tasty drinks welcomed us. Andres Izquieta and the team were rocking the aisles from the show with a whole, healthy beverage concept. Chiki Chiki Bom Bom (I know, you want to make a dance move while you say it, right?) Chiki is a sustainability & regenerative driven beverage company. It is an organic plant-based punch (made of botanicals + mountain alkaline water) that supports gut health & immunity. If healthy and tasty is not enough for you, Chiki is a 100% Female-led farmer community, certified USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and a member of 1% for the Planet. They also practice regenerative agriculture, and product attributes include vegan, Non-GMO, and gluten-free. Do you want more? Chiki is a 500-year-old recipe and the fountain of youth from Ecuador. They have their 40-acre farm located in the Blue Zone "Valley of Longevity," where they serve as a research center smart botanical farm; in addition to their practices, they even use music for their plants (everything is better with music!). The urban legend is that you live one day longer every day you drink this. So, what are you waiting for? Support this fantastic company and give yourself the gift of longevity while you enjoy a delicious Chiki drink!
Check them out at www.drinkchiki.com / @drinkchiki vimeo.com/672076095/d34059d071
Have you been victimized by those fluorescent oily tortilla chips that claim as "Mexican food"? You are not alone; we all have been there. Well, Somos is here to change the narrative and how they say it "Where the real Mexican food made in Mexico, the way Mexicans make it." Somos was born from the nostalgia of 3 Mexican friends (Los 3 amigos) and their craving for authentic Mexican food while out of their countries. You can make sure other than food; you are experiencing traditional family time in Mexico. Somos carries all the ingredients you need to make authentic Mexican food, from crunchy chilaquiles approved tortilla chips, four different salsas, a variety of rice and beans, to meatless picadillo made with potatoes and peas, cauliflower tinga, and mushrooms in chipotle sauce. SOMOS is produced entirely in Mexico and sources most of its ingredients from local Mexican family farms. All foods are plant-based, gluten-free, and non-GMO. On the SOMOS website, you can enjoy a complete Mexican food experience; you can pick a kit and have all you need to surprise and spoil your friends and family with tacos, tostadas, nachos, or chilaquiles in easy and quick, ready to enjoy packages. So, you can have that extra time to share your day and talk at the table with the people that mean the most to you.
Learn more about somos at: eatsomos.com/ @eatsomos.
If you are an avocado fan, Chosen is your kind of jam! (or guac!) While walking at ExpoWest, we saw this beautiful booth with a unique welcoming energy. It was the Chosen team working their magic, offering delicious salads to taste and a tremendous inviting atmosphere where you just wanted to sit, eat and have a great conversation. At the booth, you could see the marketing, sales, administration teams, a chef, the CEO, and all of them with great smiles inviting you to know more about their products and taste one of the multiple uses of their healthy options. Founded in 2011, Chosen food is the leading producer of 100% pure avocado oil and other avocados "relatives" staples like cooking sprays, mayos, dressings, simmer sauces, and guacamole. Sounds like avocado heaven, right?
Avocados are one of the world's most nourishing, nutrition-packed foods, thanks to their high level of antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, and fiber to keep you fuller, more satisfied, and, if you are like me, this is for you, less 'hangry.' Chosen Foods works closely with its farmers to grow avocados at the optimal climate and the perfect elevation. They're naturally irrigated by rainfall, saving thousands of gallons of water every year. The avocados are never sprayed, and every Chosen Foods product is non-GMO verified.
Additionally, Chosen Foods builds collaborative partnerships with organizations that take a community-wide, sustainable approach to alleviate hunger.
With any Chosen products, you will be part of the celebration with one another, just exactly like the feeling we had while we were at their booth.
Learn more about Chosen chosenfoods.com / @chosenfoods.
All products are born from the hearts of their founders, a mix of nostalgia from childhood and difficulty finding that feeling of "home" food beyond borders. You can be sure that these products will transfer you to other places, make you feel closer to different cultures, and all with the feeling that you are eating quality products with a beautiful company's mission. We invite you to open your pantry and stomach to new products and your mind to new beautiful well-established companies.
We are responsible for the products we pick, what those companies stand for, what ingredients are in the food we eat, and what we give to our kids; the farmers who help us have this tasty food on our table are treated with dignity and respect. We can all be part of the transformation we need for the world we want to have.
Erika is an international business, sales, and marketing professional in different manufacturing companies. As a triathlete constantly eating and taking care of a healthy lifestyle. She was born in Monterrey, Mexico, with an MBA from the UANL, loves the outdoors, travel, and other cultures. Erika emigrated to the US in 2010, and her passion for any planet good practices like Fair Trade, B Corp, ROC, etc., make her soul dance.