Budweiser es para usted. Who knows how many hamburguesas McDonald's has sold? And "por favor, no apriete el Charmin!" Mr. Whipple has been heard to say.
It's no news that the Hispanic population has been growing at an incredibly fast rate in this country. Within 10 years, Hispanics could be the largest minority group in the country, according to a study on Hispanic shoppers published by the Food Marketing Institute.
It's no wonder then, that supermarkets, food companies and advertisers have been cashing in on this market. Plus, they have a double audience, given the chile craze that has caught on with Anglos. Tortilla factories have cropped up in some Midwest and West Coast supermarket chains; chorizos, lamb heads and pork ears are finding their way into meat cases, and pinatas are hanging from supermarket ceilings.
Catering to an Hispanic market involves a rethinking of store placement. According to the Mexican American Growers Association, tortillas should be positioned in the bread department rather than the deli section, and nonfood items such as religious candles are a market must in Hispanic areas.
Hispanic shopping habits have been analyzed from all angles. The FMI study, for instance, reports that the Hispanic shopper is extremely brand-loyal and store-loyal, enjoys shopping, places great importance on meals and food and likes making a shopping list.
In addition, there are substantial differences between segments of the Hispanic market, in terms of language nuances, life styles and shopping and eating habits. For instance, Food and Beverage Marketing magazine reported that an agency creating ads for Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese made a special ad for Cubans because that group doesn't use cream cheese as a spread. The product was shown cut into slices and served with fruit. And according to Advertising Age, an agency producing an ad for Anheuser-Busch used mariachi music in the commercial's background for Mexican-descended Hispanics and salsa beats for the Puerto Rican market.
Although the Hispanic population in Washington is considerably smaller than other metropolitan areas, such as Miami or Los Angeles, supermarkets do try to cater to the market. Odonna Mathews, consumer affairs advisor at Giant, says that the chain has installed several bilingual policy signs in stores near population pockets of Hispanics. And both Giant and Safeway have enlarged sections of Hispanic products, including dried beans and produce, in stores located in Hispanic areas.
Whatever your nationality, the following egg dish from the Yucatan can be made after a quick trip through the Express Lane, so long as you have oil already on your shelf. The traditional recipe has been adapted to Express Lane status by using good-quality canned refried beans instead of black turtle beans (which require several hours of cooking), and a choice of ham or peas, instead of both.
EXPRESS LANE LIST: onion, green chili, tomatoes, corn tortillas, refried beans, ham or peas, eggs, parmesan cheese. HUEVOS MOTULENOS (4 servings)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 corn tortillas
2 cups refried beans
1/2 cup diced cooked ham or 1/2 cup cooked peas
4 large eggs, fried
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Make salsa by saute'ing onions and chilies in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until well softened. Add tomatoes and cook over low heat until they are cooked and thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
While tomatoes are cooking, place tortillas on an ungreased cookie sheet and warm in the oven at 425 degrees for about 3 minutes, or fry lightly in a skillet. They should not be crisp.
Divide the refried beans among four tortillas, spreading a layer of beans on top of each. Divide the chopped ham or peas between the four tortillas and sprinkle on top of the beans. Top with a fried egg and cover with a second tortilla. Divide the salsa between the tortillas, pouring equal portions on top of each. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese and serve.