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So. San Francisco & Modesto – May 3, 2011– Bring on the authentic flavors of Mexico, Spain and other Latin American countries; Americans are ready! According to a recent report on Hispanic food and beverage trends released by Companiesandmarkets.com, non-Hispanic Americans have developed an increased appetite for Latino cuisine. The rapid growth in America’s Hispanic population has also lead to increased demand for authentic Hispanic and Nuevo Latino foods. With the abundance of Hispanic products now available, it’s easy to move beyond basic burritos and tacos by starting in the dairy aisle of your grocery store. California is the number one producer of Hispanic dairy products in the country, offering more than 25 varieties and styles of Hispanic-style cheeses bearing the Real California Cheese seal.
With so many Hispanic cheeses to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming to know which to select and what the proper usage is for home cooking. The California Milk Advisory Board makes it easy with an at-a-glance tip sheet on Hispanic cheeses found at www.realcaliforniamilk.com and recipes for using these delicious ingredients at home. Try your hand at infusing your next fiesta or gathering with Latin flair with this recipe that features a classic Hispanic cheese in an updated savory version of a traditional dish. Oaxaca French Toast with Salsa offers a large quantity size recipe that is perfect for in-home celebrations, such as Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Mother’s Day brunch, graduation fiestas or the family barbecue.
From Manchego and Queso Freso to Cotija and Oaxaca, you don’t have to get on a plane to explore the flavors of Mexico. Hispanic dairy products are designed to add flavor, salt and in some cases, cooling properties to the fiery flavors often associated with Latino cuisine. Try crema tossed with your favorite fruit for a light and tangy salad. Calcium-rich drinkable yogurts in flavors like Mango and Pineapple are an easy, portable way to add a delicious tropical Latin flavor to your diet. Real California dairy products, including Hispanic cheeses and dairy products such as drinkable yogurt and crema, are distributed throughout California and nationally. To learn more about the variety of Hispanic and non-Hispanic dairy products and to find a whole host of delicious recipes, visit realcaliforniamilk.com.
Dairy products made with Real California milk can be identified by looking for the Real California Milk and Real California Cheese seals, which certify that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family-owned. California produces more fluid milk, butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, including Hispanic cheeses, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal.
CALIFORNIA OAXACA CHEESE FRENCH TOAST WITH SALSA
3 cups Real California milk
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Real California butter, as needed
24 slices sturdy bread, such as potato
6 cups (1 ½ pounds) shredded Real California Oaxaca cheese
3 cups salsa
Whisk together eggs, milk, cumin and salt. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-low heat; coat with a thin layer of butter. Dip bread slices into egg mixture, turning to coat on both sides. Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and cover each slice with ¼ cup cheese. Place under heated broiler until cheese is melted. For each serving, place 2 slices toast on a plate with ¼ cup salsa on the side.
Makes 12 servings
Recipe and photo provided by The California Milk Advisory Board