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The different names for “beans” throughout Latin America

By Team Fetch

September 11, 2023

Beans are known by many different names in Spanish-speaking countries. Depending on who you ask, they’ll say these legumes are called “frijoles”, “porotos” or even “habichuelas”. No matter the naming variations, one thing is true: beans are a staple in most, if not all, Latin American cultures.

To honor Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, which is celebrated between September 15 and October 15 in the United States, we’re going to share five Latin American dishes where beans are the main ingredient.

Surprise your loved ones with one of these delicious dishes while enjoying the legacy of Hispanic cultures this month. ¡Buen provecho!

5 hearty Latin American dishes with beans you must try

Popular Latin American dishes with beans banner

1. Habichuelas guisadas (Stewed beans) – Puerto Rico

In many Latin American cuisines, rice & beans go hand in hand like peanut butter & jelly. This is also true for Puerto Rican dishes. What would their rice meals be without their famous habichuelas guisadas (stewed beans)?

Stewed beans are a staple in the Caribbean. Now, if you’re going to cook this for your family, be sure to stir fry and add seasoning correctly, or it won’t be authentic. To stir fry it, you’ll need garlic, onions, peppers and cilantro. And don’t forget the tomato sauce and different spices to add flavor to it.

Follow this easy recipe from Goya, one of our partners at Fetch, and cook the habichuelas guisadas in the purest boricua style.

2. Enfrijoladas de queso (Cheese enfrijoladas) – Mexico

Did you know that Mexico ranks fourth in bean production worldwide? That’s what the Mexican government’s website affirms. The truth is, up to 60% of the country’s dishes include these nutritious legumes and because of that, adding Mexico to this list was a must!

What’s on today’s menu? A mouth watering Enfrijolada de queso (Cheese enfrijolada) that will surely delight the palates of your loved ones. It’s an easy recipe that doesn’t require many ingredients other than frijoles (beans in Mexican dialect), grated cheese, Mexican cream, avocados and cilantro. Find an easy recipe here.

Up to 60% of the dishes in the Mexican cuisine include beans

3. Sopa de frijoles rojos (Red bean soup) – El Salvador

Red beans are one of El Salvador’s favorite legumes. You’ll find beans in most Salvadoran kitchens and, while they’re cooked many different ways, the soup we’re going to talk about today is one of the most popular dishes in the Central American country.

The Sopa de frijoles rojos (Red bean soup) also has another staple ingredient in Salvadoran cuisine and that’s pork rib. A delicious option to enjoy on the rainiest days of Fall.

Here’s a recipe you can follow to enjoy this traditional Salvadoran dish with your family and friends.

4. Menestra de fréjoles (Bean stew) – Ecuador

Did you run out of lentils? Well, here’s an excellent alternative to enjoy on a rainy day. The Menestra de fréjoles is most commonly prepared in Ecuador’s coastal regions. If you’re to try this recipe, don’t forget to add white rice, roast beef and fried green plantains to it.

It’s believed that, back in the day, beans were planted next to corn in Ecuador and that’s why, in many Ecuadorian dishes both ingredients still go together to this day. An excellent way to reach your daily protein and carb intake with this combo! these two!

If you’d like to try this recipe, here’s a link with step-by-step instructions in English.

5. Locro argentino (Argentinian stew) – Argentina

We’ve reached the southernmost part of the Americas with this traditional Argentinian dish. And while it’s known as Locro argentino among locals, the truth is locro comes from the Quechua word ruqru. And what’s a ruqru, you may ask? A hearty stew that’s cooked with beef, corn and pumpkin in addition to beans, of course.

It’s an ancient dish that was already popular during pre-Columbian times. Meaning, the ruqru/locro has hundreds of years of tradition that’s been shared from generation to generation. Like the Salvadoran soup, we believe you’d really enjoy this dish during the colder autumn or winter months.

Here’s a recipe to enjoy the most authentic Argentinian cuisine.

The Argentinian dish locro was a stew that was already prepared in pre-Columbian times.

Remember to include Goya in your pantry

Whether it’s the main ingredient in a dish or enjoyed on the side, these legumes are an excellent food to add to your diet because of their rich nutritional value.

Beans are always present in many Hispanic households and we know Goya is the preferred brand for many. But, did you know that Goya is one of our partner brands at Fetch? That’s right! Check out the app to see our current Goya offers. You could earn even more points for shopping this brand and redeem those points for a free gift card.

Don’t have the app yet? Download it now by scanning the QR code below and start saving on your next grocery trip!

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Fetch’s commitment to the Hispanic/Latinx community

Fetch is committed to encouraging inclusion among its employees. Our company has different Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that offer various resources to promote inclusion and equity in the workplace.

This is how “Adelante con Fetch” (Forward with Fetch) was established in 2023. Here’s this ERG’s mission:

Adelante con Fetch is committed to building a safe space that provides inclusivity and a voice to all Hispanic/Latinx employees at Fetch. Our mission is to promote diversity, professional growth, development and cultural awareness to everyone at Fetch.

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