The Latino Thanksgiving table

Pumpkin flan, recipe from Bon Appetit (link to original recipe below).

As you might well imagine there are some serious foodies among Al Día's readership and staff. We recently asked them what Latino touch would they bring to the Thanksgiving table — the answers made our mouths water.

Main dishes first:

Reader Theresa Conejo suggests a traditional turkey dish that originated in Mexico, where the large, wild bird is native: Mole de Guajolote

For Al Día's Market Specialist, Ernesto Reina, the Cuban twist is to stuff the turkey with congrí:

Al Día photographer Samantha Madera suggests both the mouthwatering traditional Puerto Rican pork dish, Pernil (, and the island's savory pasteles ( for the Thanksgiving table. 

For Al Día's managing editor Sabrina Vourvoulias, no holiday is complete without the Mesoamerican version of the Boricua pasteles — tamales. But, having grown up in Guatemala, she favors the ones steamed in banana-leaf wrappers, like these pumpkin and black bean tamales from the Oaxaca area of Mexico:

Al Día senior reporter Arturo Varela recommends a little Latino fusion — Chipotle-Cranberry sauce ( and a little Mexican tradition — corn on the cob with chile and lime (

For sweets: 

Reader Abigail Torres suggests a Spanish standby, flan, given its Thanksgiving twist by the addition of pumpkin:

Pumpkin is a big deal to many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, so a poached, candied pumpkin dessert, like this one from Mexico, is not only delicious but historically appropriate:

And since no Latino celebration is truly complete without spirit, or spirits:

Varela suggests a drink he sampled at restaurateur Stephen Starr's "El Vez," a drink aptly named "el otoño" (autumn) which is made with cranberry-infused Jim Beam, fresh lemon juice and sweet hibiscus tea. Another of his recommendations is a pumpkin spice Margarita: And Madera says that Coquito ( a Puerto Rican sweet rum drink imbibed mostly at Christmas, is also on her family's table at Thanksgiving.

Al Día reporter Ana Gamboa, who says she never cooks, nevertheless forwarded a post full of links to make Thanksgiving meals specific to the cuisines of Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Peru:

We like our own "link salad" better, but in good Latino fashion we don't disdain any good meal!

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