Connecticut is home to a vibrant and growing Hispanic population. In fact, the Hispanic population has grown considerably from about 9.4 percent of the state’s population in 2000 to almost 18 percent of the state’s population today. In cities like Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, Hispanics make up 40 percent or more the population.
Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15 each year, gives us the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate the culture, impact and contributions of Hispanics here and across the United States.
For the dairy industry, Hispanic Heritage Month is also a time to highlight the importance of the Hispanic community. Hispanics are projected to represent 30 percent of dairy purchases by 2050 and many Latin American foods that incorporate dairy are staples that we enjoy today – from as cheesy quesadillas to sweet tres leches cake.
The benefits of dairy products are also important for Hispanics, who disproportionately suffer from certain diseases, like diabetes, where research shows consuming dairy can be part of disease prevention.
Here are 3 ways to help enjoy and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
Make a Delicious Recipe –
Nothing says celebrate more than a delicious Hispanic-flavored dish. Go beyond taco night and expand your horizons to enjoy other rich flavors. For example, you can prepare this savory and easy-to-make Cheesy Rice Casserole from our friends at Cabot. This recipe works great as a main dish or to accompany different meals. The instructions couldn’t be easier: combine the ingredients, layer them in a casserole, bake and enjoy. Find the recipe and video here.
Visit a Local Hispanic Restaurant –
Getting a great meal and supporting a small business can be an ideal win-win this Hispanic Heritage Month. Visit a Colombian restaurant and order some cheesy “Pandebono” bread or a “Changua” soup that has a milk base. Visit a Peruvian restaurant and enjoy some creamy Huancayo style potatoes. Visit a Puerto Rican restaurant and enjoy some sweet “Arroz con Leche” rice with milk or a flan for dessert. Visit a Mexican restaurant and enjoy some delicious quesadillas and drink some “Atole,” which is a warm cornmeal drink.
Visit a CT Dairy Farm –
Hispanics are vital to the daily operations of Connecticut’s dairy farms. With a focus on caring for the cows and taking care of the environment, Hispanics contribute to producing the delicious and nutritious milk we enjoy every day. By buying local dairy from Connecticut’s dairy farms, you help these small businesses and at the same time enjoy fresh dairy.