(BPT) – Across the U.S., over half of consumers have reported cooking at home more often during the pandemic and 49% of consumers have reported eating together as a family more often due to COVID-19.1 In turn, Google searches for “online cooking classes” have increased fivefold2 and “cook with me” videos on YouTube have experienced a 100% increase in average daily views.3
While many consumers are just beginning their journey in the kitchen, scratch cooking and traditional home-cooked meals have long been a staple and tradition with Hispanic families.
For Hispanic families, cooking traditional family meals and recipes is often viewed as a labor of love — passed from generation to generation — and a strong way to stay connected to their heritage. These dishes are often cooked from scratch; require long and slow cook times; and call for extensive lists of fresh ingredients, herbs, spices and meats.4
Yet with increasingly busy schedules and limited time to spend in the kitchen, Hispanic families across the nation are confronted with the challenge of building traditional family meals within a limited timeframe. A recent Rumba Meats® survey found that Hispanic consumers have turned to grocery items and solutions that help to get dinner on the table quickly.5 Research also found that, despite their love for their traditional cuisine, younger Hispanics confessed to lacking the time and knowledge to cook complicated traditional meals.1
Recently, convenient fresh meat products, such as pre-sliced and pre-diced, have grown in popularity among Hispanic consumers.5 These proteins are helping consumers cook traditional recipes with fresh ingredients and the timeless flavors they love, while saving time in the kitchen on weekdays when time is tight.
Hispanic consumers are planful shoppers and center their meals around high-quality meat, and as they are planning meals, they are increasingly turning to time-saving recipes. One of the most frequently purchased meats for Hispanic consumers is beef. In a recent survey, nine out of 10 Hispanic consumers reported purchasing beef regularly, and 44% reported purchasing a wide range of non-traditional cuts of beef regularly.5
Rumba Meats has introduced an array of fresh meat products and recipes that help to save time while packing the traditional flavors Hispanic families hold close. Three key solutions including: speed scratch recipes; meal prepping — or setting aside time to cook things that can be enjoyed throughout the week for easy meals; and recipe shortcuts, are ways in which Hispanic families can ease the cooking process while enjoying traditional meals.
“Speed scratch” recipes are great examples of ways to create some beloved, traditional recipes while taking fewer steps to build the recipe. Typically, for example, salsas start with a long list of fresh ingredients when made from scratch. One way to save time is a speed-scratch salsa recipe, which starts with a salsa base that can be purchased at the grocery store and incorporates Roma tomatoes and chopped cilantro for a quick, fresh salsa. With this pre-made base, this salsa requires only two additional ingredients for a salsa that packs fresh flavor and is easily paired with carne picada bowls for a delicious family meal.
Another emerging method is setting aside time on the weekends when schedules are less busy to cook once and use the leftovers to make different meals throughout the week. One example is a slow-cooked beef cheek barbacoa recipe that can be used right away for delicious tacos, and frozen and heated up later to build easy barbacoa quesadillas. An Instant Pot friendly bone broth recipe is also a great make-ahead recipe that can be frozen and later used in a quick menudo.
Lastly, recipe shortcuts have continued to grow in popularity, or ways in which to make a recipe quicker or easier altogether. A great way to build in a recipe shortcut is to use the slow cooker for hands-off, easy cooking. This slow cooker adobado braised beef, for example, can be cooked in the crockpot for a delicious meal that doesn’t require supervision. This recipe in particular enables Hispanic consumers to build on traditional meals that can be shared as a family while away at work or while running errands.
These recipe shortcuts and time-saving tricks, paired with widely available, convenient fresh meat products, enable Hispanic families to cook their favorite recipes that have been passed on for generations without expending hours of preparation and cooking time in the kitchen. On any night of the week, families can carefully plan meals that foster the important connection to their heritage through nourishing, delicious food.
4 Cargill Proprietary Primary Research, August 2019
5 Cargill Proprietary Primary Research, January 2020