Forget The Melting Pot, Look To The Microwave

Much has been made of the rising popularity of salsa in the U.S. (at the expense of ketchup) as the Hispanic population has increased. However, a study by The NPD Group finds Hispanics in this country shifting away from the traditional fare of their homelands. “With acculturation comes an increased focus on quick and convenient meals and a movement away from foods traditionally preferred by Hispanics,” the research firm says. Gaining in popularity among U.S. Hispanics are eggs, tea, chips, potatoes and frozen foods. Losing ground are leaf salads, fresh vegetables, fruit juice, milk, tortillas and fresh fruit. More generally, NPD detected a decline in “cooking from scratch” as Hispanics settle into American life. Still, even the most Americanized Hispanics cook from scratch more often than non-Hispanics. But the food is less likely to be spicy if it’s cooked by someone who has adapted to mainstream American ways. “Spice/ seasoning usage drops off by half among the most acculturated group, over the least acculturated group,” says the report.