Another ingredient in the make up of the post Katrina population gumbo is becoming evident in supermarkets from Houma to Biloxi.
I've noticed the emergence of a wider variety of "Latino" food available in the stores around the Slidell area. I like the influx of a Latino influence
in the food we love to eat.
From the Sun Herald news, July 8, 2007:
Latin American tastes have spread across the Coast, creating a market for cuisine that's Hot hot hot
The converging realities of a larger Hispanic community and discovery of a new taste by other ethnic groups is causing even the big-name supermarkets such as Winn-Dixie and Wal-Mart to give those groceries more real estate on their shelves.
The Latino food section has gotten wider and wider over the years at the Winn-Dixie at the intersection of Pass and Popp's Ferry roads (in Gulfport, MS).
Nowadays it rivals in length that most assimilated of ethnic foods enjoyed by the American palate - Italian pastas and sauces - which sit in almost equal proportion across the aisle.
We are putting in a lot more product. We're getting stories from our stores that they are selling very well, said Jim Carrado, Winn-Dixie's senior director of merchandising. "It's clearly the No. 1 ethnic food we deal in."
The common tortillas and salsa bottles have been joined by more exotic fare. Sofrito seasoning and mole sauces compete with the popular Mexican soft drink Jarritos for consumers' attention.
The outsized selection dwarfs Asian and Jewish products that also populate the ethnic food aisle, providing more proof demand for Latino foods has pushed to the forefront in South Mississippi.
Area Wal-Marts have been seeing the same trends. Spokeswoman Amy Wyatt-Moore said increasing sales of Hispanic products are being driven mainly by an increased Hispanic population since Hurricane Katrina, though more non-Hispanics are also buying