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Food is the cornerstone of Latino culture. As important as language and traditions may be for some of us, it’s food that really brings that all together. To embrace Latin cuisine is to embrace us as a people, as a culture.

It’s a beautiful concept, unless  you happen to be someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy Latin food – or rather, a Latina who doesn’t enjoy Latin food.

Maybe it’s because I have weird taste buds. Maybe it’s because I was force-fed rice and beans as a child when all I really wanted was a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Whatever the reason, I never took to a lot of traditional Latino dishes, oftentimes making it awkward to attend a Latino wedding, fulanita’s kid’s bautizo, or any other celebration where a lot of Latinos will be gathered together.

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After enough shocked looks and “But how can you be Latina if you don’t like . . . ” comments, I started to fake it – serving myself minuscule portions at gatherings, pushing food around the plate until it looked like I ate something. But after finally meeting a few other Latinas who share some of the same food reservations, I decided that I would hide my true food feelings no longer.

Here are seven Latino dishes I used to be afraid to admit I hated.


Gallo pinto

Or any combination of rice and beans, really. 



My abuela has explained how she used to make these in Cuba. No, thank you. 


Arroz con pollo

As a child, I ate enough of this dish to last two lifetimes. 


Rabo encendido

Don't really want to eat anything's tail.



I know. I'm sorry.