National Sofrito Day Date in the current year: March 11, 2024

National Sofrito Day National Sofrito Day is one of the many unofficial food days celebrated in the United States. It is observed annually on March 11 in honor of a popular condiment and cooking base found in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine.

Sofrito is a mix of finely chopped vegetables, herbs and spices that are braised or sautéed in oil. It can be used as a sauce or as a flavor base for various dishes such as paella, stews, pasta, rice, soups, etc. The preparation is known by different names in different parts of the world (sofrito in Spain and Latin America, soffritto in Italy, sofregit in Catalonia, refogado in Portugal and Brazil) and may contain different combinations of vegetables and herbs depending on the region.

The first mentions of sofrito in Spanish cookbooks date back to the mid-14th century. Since tomatoes and peppers, which are common sofrito ingredients in modern Spanish cuisine, weren’t cultivated in Europe until the mid-16th century, early versions of sofrito consisted of diced onion sautéed in olive oil.

Today, Spanish sofrito usually consists of garlic, onion and peppers, and may optionally include carrots or tomatoes. Italian soffritto is usually made of celery, carrots and onions. The mixture of chopped raw vegetables is called battuto; it becomes soffritto when cooked slowly in olive oil or sometimes butter. Portuguese refogado consists of garlic and onions cooked in olive oil; it may also include tomatoes and bay laurel leaves.

The Spanish brought sofrito to the New World, and it spread across Latin America and the Caribbean as the Spanish colonized the region. Over time, different variations of sofrito emerged in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. Most of them contain white, red or green onions and some kind of pepper, but the rest of the ingredients may vary.

For example, Puerto Rican sofrito, also known as recaito, consists of peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro leaves; it rarely includes tomatoes. The ingredients are often blended until smooth. In contrast, a Colombian version of sofrito called hogao is made with only two ingredients, tomatoes and scallions. Another Colombian variant of sofrito, guiso, also contains white onions, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Other ingredients that can be found in Latin American and Caribbean variations of sofrito include annatto seeds, apple cider vinegar, bay leaf, coriander, dry white wine, parsley, thyme, tomato paste or juice, and others. Some recipes incorporate cured ham, salted pork, or bacon.

The origins of National Sofrito Day are somewhat murky, but some sources claim it was created by Cooking with My Doctor, a Puerto Rican brand of cooking seasonings. However, does it really matter who and when created the holiday? What matters is that you have an excuse to try out the different variations of sofrito and choose the one you like the most.

You can celebrate National Sofrito Day by making sofrito at home, inviting your friends over for a sofrito cook-off where you can try out different sofrito recipes and flavors, buying a jar or two of pre-made sofrito at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, and spreading the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalSofritoDay and #SofritoDay.

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Unofficial Holidays



National Sofrito Day, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, food days, Mediterranean cuisine, Latin American cuisine