Coffee, chocolates and premiere hot sauces are just some of the foods inspired by the rich terroir of Latin America. These food brands, many family- or woman-owned and all with Latino roots, are celebrating their heritages with exceptional products.
It's always wonderful to read the labels, check the Instagram pages and learn about the personal histories behind the people who deliver great food to our grocery stores and kitchens. While this is just a handful of the many Latino brands showcasing their culinary talents, we can verify each one will make you fall in love, one bite or sip at a time.
These beans are sourced in Puerto Rico, brewed in New York City coffee shops and shipped nationwide to kitchens around the country. In 2014, New Yorkers Sam Sepulveda and Brandon Pena, bought 103 acres of land in Maricao, Puerto Rico, and became coffee farmers. Now they're delivering their love of Puerto Rican coffee to consumers nationwide, without the middle man.
Bodega Catena Zapata
This father-and-daughter operated vineyard has been in business in the beautiful landscape of Argentina since 1902 when their ancestors began growing grapes in the high altitude region of Mendoza. Laura Catena joined her father in running the family vineyard, in addition to being a mother of three, scientist and emergency room doctor, to continue developing red and white blends that carry on tradition and new ideas all in one bottle.
Coffee del Mundo
This Afro-Latino-owned coffee shop was started in South Los Angeles and delivers nationwide. They work with small farmers around the world to get beans, packaged whole, in pods and for cold brews, to kitchens around the country.
Oscar Ochoa’s handcrafted salsas, cilantro jasmine rices, Kernel of Truth organic tortillas and other goods are made in Los Angeles and sold locally and online. Founded in 2012, the brand is named after the socialist Mexican newspaper by the same name that was printed in Mexico City from 1924 to 1929.
Flor de María
These fine CBD chocolates are batched up in Brooklyn, New York and made from Latin American cacao and hemp flower extract. Each bar has 120 mg of non-psychoactive CBD that's combined into decadent bars for any lover of chocolate, decadence and relaxation. The exquisite packaging and unique flavors like dark chocolate lemongrass and ghost pepper caramel make these the perfect gift — for yourself or anyone else you're fond of in life.
Llama Land Organics
Sourced from Peru (or as the brand calls it, the "Land of Superfoods"), these organic fruit spreads and cereals have got mornings covered. Many of the ingredients are central to the Andean diet, which has been around since ancient Mesoamerica among the Inca, including quinoa, amaranth, arracacha, maca, yacon root and cacao. The company is wife- and husband-owned by Lisa and Ismael Petrozzi who live in the U.S. with their two young boys.
Dominican/Peruvian-American Kenny Luna and his friend Scott Hattis began their quest to develop delicious dried seasonings steeped in Latino culinary traditions from their homes in New York City. Today, with co-owner Yadira Garcia, a Dominican-American chef, food activist and educator, their organic sofrito, sazón and adobo are available online to flavor foods in kitchens across the country.
Mexican food, virtual cooking classes and a curated mercadito ("little shop") of goods that shine in the kitchen. She sells kitchen and home accessories as well as specialty foods like Mexican vanilla extract, salsa morita and hibiscus jam. The multifaceted resource for appreciating Mexican cuisine was founded by Dolores Wiarco Dweck, aka Lola. On the website, home cooks can view her virtual workshop schedule, from kids' classes to tutorials on how to cook with edible flowers. Dweck donates a portion of the proceeds from her products and classes to charities that help women and children in the community advance in education and business.
From spicy sweet to smoky hot, this Dominican hot sauce brand has a spice point for everyone and is available nationwide online. The Brooklyn, New York-based company, owned by Maritza Abreu, was born from the ashes — literally. After her Dominican parent's restaurant burnt down after 22 years of business, it led Abreu to begin bottling up the family hot sauce recipe.
Available online and at many grocers nationwide, these tortilla chips come in a wide range flavors, from fuego to lime and chipotle BBQ. Each bag of chips are made with cassava flour and avocado oil to ensure there's no gluten. Siete Foods is owned and operated by the Garza family.
This hot sauce and cactus chips brand was named after founder Hector Saldivar's mother, known affectionally by his family as Tía Lupita. When Saldivar moved from Mexico to San Francisco, his mom began sending him batches of her homemade salsa. After asking for her permission to bottle the recipe for the world to enjoy, Saldivar launched his business honoring Mexico, mama and the napoles cactus (aka prickly pear) with tasty snacks available throughout the States.
Founded by chef and cookbook author Jocelyn Ramirez and run by a team of Latina women, Todo Verde is a go-to resource for plant-based, Mexican food. Ramirez hosts online cooking classes and ingredient bundles with all the products one needs to craft a vegetarian feast, from strawberry-rose tamales to jackfruit carnitas and roasted poblano macaroni and cheese.
Owner Yola Jimenez follows a very specific mezcal recipe that was first made by her grandfather in 1971 and passed down to her. The 400-year-old tradition of distilling the smoky liquor of Oaxaca is followed by Jimenez's all women-run facility that offers direct pay to its employees and partners in the U.S. and Oaxaca.
This story was originally published on TODAY.com.