Also important, they are created by small business entrepeneurs, the backbone of the US economy.
Spice up your “Covid cuisine” with one or more of these great seasonings, especially if you are boycotting Goya products over the Goya CEO’s repeated support of Trump election fraud lies, his previous support of overturning the Biden election. He also had expressed support of of the Trump administration anti-immigrant and anti-DACA policies, which overwhelmingly affects Latinos. Those policies were quickly overturned in the first days of the Biden Administration.
These Goya competitors are worth checking out, whether you grew up eating Puerto Rican rice and beans, Colombian arepas or Mexican sopapillas, or are a recent convert to the myriad styles and flavors of Hispanic cuisine.
Let’s start with these NYC-based companies.
Loisa spices include adobo and sazón seasonings, both mainstays of Latino cuisine. These are made with USDA-organic ingredients, so there’s no GMO, MSG, preservatives or artificial coloring or flavoring. And, they are Vegan.
Loisa Organic Adobo is an all-purpose Latin seasoning that adds a perfect kick of Latin flavor to chicken, steak, fish, shrimp, veggies, anything – just shake or rub, then cook.
Loisa Organic Sazon is a full flavored Latin seasoning to cook into rice, quinoa, beans, soup, or broth. Season chicken, meat, or seafood before cooking. Get creative with snacks, like roasted almonds, dips, and more.
They also offer prepackaged beans and rice and beans and quinoa mixes.
The founders have a rich, mixed Latinx background. Kenny Luna is a Dominican/Peruvian-American and his wife is French. Scott Hattis is a White guy who married into a Dominican family through wife Anna. All four are owners, as is Dominican-American chef, food activist, and educator Yadira Garcia, of Happy Healthy Latina.
Loisa is an homage to “Loisaida” – the Spanglish name for the Lower East Side, one of the NYC centers of Latin culture & cuisine, alongside the two other Lower East Side immigrant cultures, Chinese and the Eastern European Jewish immigrants who dominated the area a century ago.
The multi-cultural Lower East Side has been celebrated June with the “Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas” festival, hosted by the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue and museum. The street fair was not held last summer because of the pandemic.
Brookllyn-based Iberia Foods sells olives and oils, beans and rice, milks and desserts, chips and salsa in grocery stores nationwide, including Walmart and Target. The company also distributes products from Haiti and Jamaica.
Founded in 1930, it’s one of the largest food and beverage distributor within the U.S. to the Hispanic and Caribbean markets. No longer a mom-and-pop operation, Iberia is now part of the giant Best Foods conglomerate.
Dozens of recipes on the website include Chorizo empanadas, pork carnitas and Tres Leche, one of my personal favorite desserts, along with flan.
Another spice blend company, this one known for its ultra-flavorful blends of chili peppers, lime and sea salt that add a serious kick to everything from roasted veggies to your Sunday brunch Bloody Mary.
Tajín was founded in 1985.
The website offers also dozens of recipes using Tajín sauces, ,including shrimp and pineapple ceviche and a guacamole burger.
This coffee company was founded by Gregorio Menendez Bustelo, an immigrant from Cuba to the United States in 1917.
Cuban coffee is strong stuff, more like Italian espresso, so get ready for a jolt of energy. It’s available in most NYC grocery stores.
There’s also some brand extensions, including Brazilian-style coffee and Café con Dulce de Leche Instant Coffee which can be ordered on the website.
Siete Family Foods is owned by a Mexican-American family in South Texas.
The company’s tortillas, chips, hot sauces, dips, and sauces are all grain-free, so they are perfect for the gluten-free folks in your life.
Click here to locate a store carrying the brand, or order from the website.
There’s also dozens of recipes on the website, from traditional shrimp quesadillas to non-traditional cassava veggie egg rolls, all using Siete products.
This is an Iowa-based cooperatively owned wholesaler of natural and organic products, including an Organic Adobo Seasoning Blend made with kosher, non-GMO, non-ETO ingredients.
Purchase directly from their website or from Vitacost.
Calicutts Spice Co.
This Pennsylvania spice shop specializes in handcrafted, small-batch spices, including a Mexican Adobo Spice Blend made with natural, gluten-free ingredients which is packaged in a glass container, not plastic.
Purchase directly from their site or on Etsy.
Herdes is known as Mexico’s number one salsa brand, with many varieties of salsas, sauces and dips, and the tortilla chips to soak them up. And what other brand can you think of that offers canned jalapenos?
Of course, there are recipes on the website, such as grilled fish tacos with spicy mayo, and a store locator.
Based in California, this brand of Mexican-style products ranges from nacho cheese sauces to pork chile verde and the traditional Mexican soups menudo and pozole, along with hominy and other grains.
And recipes, of course, on the website.
All images are from the respective company websites.
Evelyn Kanter is the daughter of two immigrants, and is a champion of both immigrants and small business entrepeneurs, who often are one and the same.
In addition to publishing NYC on the Cheap at least five days a week since 2020, Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including the most recent 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing email@example.com
Thanks for following NYC on the Cheap.