When moving away from home for college, one of the biggest struggles is missing home-cooked meals. For some of us, these dishes include hand-crafted delicacies from other countries that aren’t necessarily accessible where we decided to go to school.
We interviewed Hispanic college students from different parts of the U.S. that don’t have access to their favorite native cuisine, and they shared what they miss the most.
“I miss anything that has to do with fried plantains like chicharritas and platanito frito. Every time I go home I ask my family to make them.” – Maylen Santana of Cuban descent, Gainesville
“There are so many ways to cook plantains and incorporate them into Hispanic meals, or even as just a snack, and I crave them at least once a week.” – Claudia Guerrero of Puerto Rican descent, Tallahassee
2. Rice and Beans
“The rice and beans are a staple in Spanish cuisine, but the only beans available here are refried chili.” – Michael Rodriguez of Nicaraguan descent, Pittsburgh
“I always miss having guava paselitos. The first thing I always do when I go back to Miami is go to Sedano’s and pick up all my favorite items I haven’t been able to eat in months!” – Aileen Velasquez of Dominican and Venezuelan descent, Tallahassee
“Cuban bread is like no other. It’s warm, fluffy, buttery, and just great. But, after it’s been sitting for a day, it practically becomes a baseball bat. I can never find quality pan Cubano where I attend school.” – Julia Sanchez of Cuban descent, Syracuse
“Whenever I am struck with the realization that I will have to go months without my favorite dishes, it is as if my friends and family have a sixth sense, and go out of their way to remind me how much I am missing out. My sister conveniently sends photos of her pupusas, a traditional Salvadorian tortilla dish, whenever I am craving something cheesy and greasy.” – Elizabeth Selva of Cuban and Colombian descent, Ithaca
“I miss Pilon coffee because Publix here only sells Cafe Bustelo, which is good, but not my favorite.” – Maylen Santana of Cuban descent, Gainesville
“Moving to Pennsylvania, I couldn’t get Cuban coffee anywhere.” – Michael Rodriguez of Nicaraguan descent, Pittsburgh
“I miss my arroz con picadillo and vaca frita – literally anything from El Palacio de Los Jugos.” – Mary Roig of Cuban descent, Boston
“Cow tongue is delicious, but all we have up north is venison.” – Michael Rodriguez of Nicaraguan descent, Pittsburgh