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Grilled guinea pig? Jalapeño margaritas? Si, por favor.

Union Square’s Latino restaurant owners are serving up loroco pupusas, jalapeño margaritas and grilled guinea pig—they are firing up the local economy, as well.

It's Hispanic Heritage month and so we Somerville Arts Council folk thought it would be the perfect time to explore how local Latinos contribute to Union Square's gastronomic and economic landscape. Yes indeed, restaurant owners in the square are serving up loroco pupusas, bacalaitos fritos, jalapeño margaritas and grilled guinea pig (a Peruvian specialty for Mother's Day). Beyond offering exotic eats, this group is also providing jobs, stimulating food tourism and sharing their respective cultures.

Case in point: the other night following a Nepali festival in the plaza, a few of us Arts Council staffers snuck into El Potro. As we nibbled on pupusas and tacos, a mariachi band sauntered up to our table and asked what kind of song we wanted to hear. Bess, a former SACster, asked for something funny. And so the sartorially snazzy group launched into "Los Mariachis Locos Quieren Bailar" (The Crazy Mariachi Want to Dance). As they burst into song—and dance!—suddenly it seemed we were on vacation in Guadalajara. You can get a taco practically any where in town, yet they don't always come accompanied by such a delicious dose of culture.

To read much more about mariachi music, upscale Puerto Rican street food, Peruvian hangover cures and the immigrant experience in Union Square, please click over to Nibble, to read our Latin Flavor article. It's one of the many articles in our recently published Nibble book. If you'd like to snag yourself a copy, head to the Somerville Arts Council site. Thanks and happy nibbling.

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