Doral, FL– Salsa and hot sauce sales surpass ketchup. Tortillas enable the popular “wrap” sandwich. And avocados, mangos and cilantro can now be found in virtually every produce department.  There is a new force in the kitchen as “Hispanic” is weaving its way into all U.S. food and beverage categories.  Culinary fare ranging from arroz con pollo to tortillas and everything in between are no longer considered exotic in mainstream American culture thanks to the culinary influence of the Hispanic population, now the country’s largest minority group.

With Hispanic food and beverage sales projected to increase from $5.7 billion in 2006 to nearly $8.4 billion in 2011, there’s no denying Hispanic cultural influence in the American kitchen.  Just like most Americans stir fry in their woks without giving a thought to “cooking Asian”, the Hispanic influence in the mainstream American kitchen is on the rise.  As this trend in Hispanic foods and tradition expands, mainstream cooks who want to make authentic Hispanic cuisine part of their everyday cooking will be interested in a recent study of Hispanic cooking and cookware.

What’s for Dinner?
While the typical Hispanic cook’s hand stirs arroz con pollo on the stove, her feet are firmly planted, one in each culture, according to Inteligencia Research.

Her meals are most likely made from scratch and are a traditional dish from her country of origin, according to the Florida-based research firm that talked to Hispanic women who were the main meal preparers from New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.  Here’s what they found:

• Most Hispanic women are cooking full meals five days a week, some several times a day, which is more often than their general market counterparts (83% of those surveyed also work outside the home).
• Nearly two-thirds of Latinas favor the idea of buying cookware in sets
•They believe preparing home made meals play a major role in being a good wife and mother and they get an emotional boost from doing so.
• Good nutrition is a critical motivator for preparing home cooked meals.  Mom can be sure of her meal because she knows what goes into it.
• Hispanic cooks make mostly traditional dishes from their home country and rice is a centerpiece or staple in the majority of these dishes.  There is an effort to vary the menu with preparation of beans, tortillas, soups, chili peppers, marinated meats, chaquiles and other dishes.

What Are They Cooking It In?
The study also found most Hispanic cooks prefer cookware that is especially designed for Hispanic fare, is durable, easy to clean, has non-heating sturdy handles, is aesthetically pleasing, is reasonably priced, and is a well known brand.  Based on these features and that “it is made for the food I cook”, Hispanic cooks in the US agree with those in Latin America, both concurring that IMUSA® is their preferred cookware.

According to the study, the Hispanic cookware arsenal is extensive and contains many pieces that one may not find in a typical US kitchen. In addition to four regular pots and pans, one would find four “calderos,” or stock pots of varying sizes, used to make rice, fried foods or stews. There are likely two “tamale pots,” a tortilla maker and an electric rice maker on hand as well.

“You can do it all. You can make stew cook rice, roast and even fry an egg and it will not stick,” one study participant explained

American cooks looking for Hispanic authenticity will want to stock their own kitchen with the following pieces found in most typical Hispanic kitchens.


CALDERO: Similar to a Dutch oven in its versatility, they are used primarily as a rice and beans maker.  Hispanic cooks will have as many as four calderos in varying sizes and prefer those made of cast aluminum. Most women in the study wouldn’t think of making rice and beans in anything else, but it’s also used to make everything from soups, spaghetti and roasts, to fried recipes and for browning.

Cast aluminum is the preferred material because it gets seasoned with use. A seasoned caldero is as personal to a Hispanic cook as a baseball mitt is to a ball player. Nearly two in five (43%) surveyed said they use one “nearly every day.”


OLLA TAMALERA: This is used as a stock pot or sauce pot, but unlike a caldero, it is not used for fried recipes. Women of Mexican descent mainly use an olla for aking tamales and call it a “tamalera.” Typically two tamaleras in different sizes are kept on hand.   A Tamalera can be very large (12-21 qt.)

The olla is also a stock pot to  make sancocho, a stew-like dish that is usually made in quite large batches.


COMAL: The comal is rounded griddle that is quite versatile for frying. It is commonly used by Mexican American women to warm tortillas, cook pancakes and to sauté meats and other foods. It is typically made of cast iron, cast aluminum or carbon steel for even heating.

ELECTRIC RICE MAKER: Some Hispanic women use electric rice makers to make large quantities of rice or to keep the rice warm for a period of time.  But most women in the study said that rice is not as tasty when made in an electric rice maker as opposed to a sauce pan or caldero.

Hispanic cooks also utilize these items found in many American kitchens as well:

Frying pan/sarten: In addition to fried dishes, the “sarten” as it is called in Spanish may be used as a griddle and women in the study preferred a non-stick surface for quick clean-up. Women of Mexican descent may make rice or noodles in a frying pan as this is their cooking custom.

Pressure cookers: The women in the study who use pressure cookers consider them to be versatile and convenient. They are thought to cook beans to perfection and meat is said to come out juicy and tender.

Offering a full range of cookware, gadgets and accessories and serving items to make Latin cuisine at home, IMUSA housewares products are available nationwide at supermarkets nationally including Ralphs, Frys, Kroger, Winn Dixie,  Food Lion, Food Depot, Shop Rite, Petes Supermarkets, Sedanos Supermarkets in Florida, and Compare Supermarkets on the East Coast, specialty, and mass merchant retailers including Target and Wal-Mart.

Please visit to see the entire line of IMUSA housewares including cookware, gadgets, serving and storage items.