Día de Acción de Gracias
Hispanic Thanksgiving or Día de Acción de Gracias amongst Latinos in the U.S. is a celebration en familia, like it is for many American families. But this is nothing new to us, I am talking about celebrating in family, being thankful for what we have, sharing with love and in many ways expressing the gratitude from our hearts.
What maybe new to Spanish speaking immigrants -like once I was or you may be now, is the history behind the celebration. That, I learned when I came here.
One of the best memories I have comes from enjoying how embracing my husband’s family was. I had arrived in the country in August, so for me celebrating Thanksgiving was totally new.
The holiday stayed engraved in my heart after celebrating at my sister in law’s home. This gathering for dinner, enjoying each other’s company and seeing how every member contributed to the celebration touched my heart.
I especially recall how warm and beautiful the prayer we said at the table was. We all participated, sharing what our hearts were grateful for. It was a beautiful moment, particularly for me because I was, at this point, totally immersed into a new culture, people, customs and relationships.
little did I know, this was going to be my future family and Thanksgiving gave me a window into the soul of my nueva familia.
What Is a Hispanic Thanksgiving?
A Hispanic Thanksgiving is a mélange of cultures, including the American, that come together to create a unique marriage of foods, Latin decor, traditions and entertainment. Many Latinos embrace the holiday by celebrating and giving a Latino flavor to it.
Some Hispanics roast a turkey seasoned with Latin spices and traditional flavors that we use in our countries of origin. Others simply bypass the turkey and celebrate with a tamale dinner.
I have friends who incorporate Latin decor and some of our Latin food recipes like black beans, white rice, yucca and traditional desserts like tres leches, flan de coco and frutas con leche condensada.
Puerto Ricans on the island on the other hand, celebrate with turkey but they cook it on a spit. Similar to what they do with the Christmas pork or lechón asao.
What I find so enriching is how we, Hispanics, are changing American cuisine by mixing our traditional flavors and dishes along the traditional American ones.
The proof is in the products you can now find on the shelves of your regular supermarket and in the efforts of many big companies to reach Latinos with their products, ideas, recipes, etc,.
How Our Tamale Ambassador Celebrates…
My friend Sandra Vásquez, the “Tamale Ambassador” shared with me that tamales top the list in her Hispanic Thanksgiving. She makes them with puerco or pork, specifically carnitas in her crock pot with chile de árbol.
She also roasts a turkey and makes cornbread, stuffing with Latin flavor, cranberry sauce and black eye peas.
For dessert, Sandra makes pumpkin pecan pie, the perfect recipe her aunt Eloisa taught her to bake when she was a little girl.
To drink? Her family enjoys limonada Mexicana and tea. Later on, when their spirits are even higher, they make Margaritas and drink tequila.
This is one of the many Hispanic American Thanksgivings I hear about, where it all mixes and makes sense. Who says we have to forget our roots while embracing a new culture?
If you want to enjoy a Hispanic Thanksgiving make tamales! Here are some of the best recipes that Sandra shared with us. If you want a faster way to make tamales.
How to Enhance Your Hispanic Thanksgiving
Use Latin Cotton Placemats
- Use cotton tablecloths made in South America by our artisans.
- These artisans made these cotton placemats and napkins with rich textiles, washable at home and easy to take care of.
- See how colors can enhance your Thanksgiving. Rainbows, greens inspired in our Amazon jungle, manglares and mountains are rich and give a touch of culture to your table.
- These cotton placemats and napkins also work for other Hispanic Holidays, making them versatile.
Use typical dinnerware
- Talavera plates to serve or practical Mexican plates
make an exquisite accent on your Thanksgiving celebration.
- Hot plates like the ones made by the Ann Kary pewter Co. are incredibly functional and beautiful. They don’t fade like wood and protect your table while giving panache.
- Don’t go overboard, and use small touches that will do the trick. No need to have all elements Latino style, just a couple of pieces will do the trick.For more ideas about Hispanic or Latin decor simply check my Latin Decor
and home section where I regularly add new products, we, Latinos love! All made in our countries of origin.Enjoy your holiday and you too, can give a Latino touch to your Hispanic Thanksgiving!