It might be a little tricky to curl your tongue around the names of Latin American staples like arepas, empanadas or pan con lechon, but on the palate they speak a universal language.


Visitors to the weekly farmers market can try these, and other tasty alternatives to burgers and fries over at a new vendor that advertises itself simply as Pan Con Lechon – roasted pork sandwich.

Proprietors and Miami residents Beluz Rodriguez and her brother, Raul Reyes, originally hail from Honduras, and are occasionally helped out at the stand by Rodriguez’ daughter, Secy, when she’s not at school.

“The empanadas (Colombian delicacies with beef or chicken stuffed into a baked or fried pastry) are the most popular so far,” said Secy Rodriguez during week two of the market, which is held Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. at Veterans’ Community Park.

She said there’s also a lot of interest in the arepas, which are round corn pancake-like sandwiches stuffed with mozzarella cheese, as well as the corn-dough tamales filled with pulled pork and steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper.

Prices for these items are around $3.

Also available at the stand are chicken skewers ($5), and indeed the pork sandwiches served open tacito-style with slow roasted pork grilled onions and fresh salad; while variations and rice and beans are also available. On the sweeter side, grilled or fried plantains beckon as well.

Rodriguez said business has been encouraging at the market, attributing the success to her mom having worked markets in South Florida over the past 16 years.

The market features about 80 vendors, with an informal “food court” on the east side of the market, featuring everything from Detroit dogs to paella, and from smoked chicken and ribs to German as well as Mediterranean pastries.

In coming weeks, the Sun Times will highlight the different choices available from the food court.

Pick up the Thursday, Dec. 3, Sun Times for more details, see C section Food, Fun & TV.

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