May 22, 2005

Recetas or Recipes?

In case you haven't noticed, marketing to the U.S. Hispanic population is the name of the game these days. With billions of dollars in purchasing power at stake, The Food Companies want their piece of the pie.

One result of all this hoopla is that many of the promotional recipe books put out by TFC's are now available in Spanish as well as English.

My trusty mailman has come through again and delivered the Spring editions of Food & Family magazine and Comida y Familia, both published by Kraft Foods North America. A free subscription to these publications (five issues per year) is available to registered users of the Kraft Foods website. They're really nice magazines, by the way. The recipes are easy to make and the food photography is top notch.

I thought it would be a fun exercise to compare the two issues to see what the differences are.

Being a born and bred Texan, I'm no stranger to the spoken Spanish language, but I'll have to use the Spanish dictionary and online language translator to help me out with the reading material.

It would be erroneous to assume that language is the only difference in the two issues, as the Spanish version takes the Latino culture into consideration in the scope of recipes it offers.

Quite a few of the recipes and Kraft brand ingredients used are the same. Both issues include recipes for a yummy looking roast chicken, Chocolate Cherry Jiggler Cups, Easy Toasted Coconut Pie, Easy Strawberry Dessert, a Smoothie and Cereal combo, an Italian Chicken Pasta Skillet, a grilled cheese sandwich, Chicken & Cheese Tostadas, Un-Fried French Fries, Lean Beef Tacos, and Made Over Cheeseburgers, a Grilled Steak & Vegetable Salad, a Chicken & Citrus Salad, and a Hidden Treasure Cake.

The paths of the two issues then diverge. The Mom's Specialty and the Fresh Off the Shelf sections feature two totally different sets of recipes. The recipes found in the Celebration Cakes section show slight variations of the same types of recipes. Food & Family features a Chocolate Cheesecake and a Citrus Cream Cake while Comida y Familia shows a plain cheesecake and a Lemonade Cake. The Eggs Beyond Breakfast sections both include an Easy Mac 'N Cheese Pie, but the others are different.

Because market research has shown that Hispanic cultures prefer more fruit and fish in their diets, Comida includes an extra section of recipes on bananas (platanos), and many of the recipes that are different are seafood oriented.

Those who receive only the English edition will be missing out on a great recipe for Croquetas -- fried stuffed peppers with chicken, beef and pork variations as well as one for Coconut Fried Shrimp. Hispanic consumers receiving only the Spanish edition will miss out on the recipe for Homemade Chicken Nuggets and perhaps never learn of the American tradition of Ritz Mock Apple Pie.

Am I the only one left feeling a little peeved and a bit disappointed that the two issues don't contain the same recipes?


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