Coconut water may have exploded in popularity over the past year, but that's probably not a surprise to you. (Yeah, you know what's up.) Your parents have probably been feeding you healthy Latin "superfoods" like coconut water and quinoa for years. Below, seven more food trends Latinos did first.
Search Pinterest or Instagram for "avocado toast," and you get thousands of gorgeous photos that can really only be described as food porn. But Chilenos and Peruvians have been slathering palta on bread for snacks and breakfast for years.
Sometime in 2013, the U.S. reached peak quinoa popularity -- probably around the same time the gluten-free craze started taking off. But this ancient grain has long been a staple in Bolivian and Peruvian cooking. In fact, the rise in its popularity has some worried about the ethical implications. In 2013, the Guardian reported that demand for quinoa from the U.S. and Europe had grown so much that poor Bolivians were being priced out of the market and could no longer afford to purchase the once-cheap and plentiful staple.
Remember in 2010 when agave nectar was the new, popular sugar source for like, a hot second? (Seems like so long ago, doesn't it?) The verdict is out on how healthy agave nectar really is. Some experts believe that as a low-glycemic sweetener, it's a good alternative to refined sugar for diabetics, because it doesn't cause a sudden rise or fall in blood sugar. But other experts argue that because it's made up largely of fructose, it's basically no better for you than high fructose corn syrup. However, one thing is for certain – agave, in whatever form it takes, isn't new. The plant is native to Mexico and has been harvested for years to make tequila.
The Wall Street Journal wrote in 2012 that coconut water U.S. retail sales hit the $400 million mark. The drink is touted for its high levels of potassium, making it a great post-workout snack – but Costa Ricans have been drinking fresh coconut water to replenish electrolytes after childbirth and illness for years.
Like quinoa, chia seeds have exploded in popularity over the past five years, with health-conscious consumers putting them in everything from smoothies and salads to yogurt and waffles. Although they may have only become mainstream recently, chia seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala, and Bon Appetit reports that they were a staple of Mayan and Aztec diets.
We definitely couldn't leave this one off the list. If you grew up in New York, L.A., Miami, or any other big city in the U.S., you probably remember the guy selling paletas and Italian ices – and mango was (probably) your fave.
Acai berries are not the complete weight-loss miracle they've been touted to be, but they do pack a pretty healthy punch. They have a similar level of antioxidants to blueberries and blackberries. But we're sure we don't have to tell our fellow Latinos that. The acai berry may not have been introduced into the U.S. until 2000, but Brazilians have known about their benefits for years.