Spice up your meals for Hispanic Heritage Month with these traditional recipes

Food is a common theme that brings the Hispanic community together

ORLANDO, Fla. – Spice up your meals for Hispanic Heritage Month by trying one of these two traditional recipes.

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Americans observe the contributions Hispanics have made to the country.

Hispanics have introduced Americans to a variety of cultures and a melting pot of foods. Two of those foods enjoyed by millions are arepas, a treat made with corn meal, and pandebono, which is made with tapioca flour, corn flour and cheese. 

Arepas are a tradition in Colombia and Venezuela. In Colombia, the popular dish is typically enjoyed as a side to go with rice and beans. Venezuelans like to stuff them with a meat or chicken mix.

"We say that culture is a lot about food," Diahann Smith, marketing director with Florida Dairy Farmers, said. "It's had a transfer; that culture via your food via your grandparents' recipes."

A common theme for Hispanics from all 20 countries is the way food brings them together around the kitchen.

The typical arepa is made with white corn and cheese, but there's also a type of corn in Colombia called choclo that is sweet. 

Arepas can be enjoyed alone or with eggs for breakfast. In Colombia, they make pericos, a meal  that includes scrambled eggs with diced onions, tomatoes and green onions. 

Typically, Colombians pair coffee or hot chocolate with pandebono. 

Central Florida has more than 5 million Hispanics, according to a report by Cervantes Institute of Harvard University. It's through traditional dishes that they're keeping new generations connected to their Hispanic roots. 

Try making your own arepas and pandebono by clicking on the recipes linked.