Blog: Comida Studies

Healthy Latin Cooking: Book Review and Testing

A few years back, I briefly got into collecting cookbooks – a side effect of my first food studies article, Writing Cuisine in the Spanish Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Iconic Puerto Rican and Cuban cookbooks (Food, Culture, and Society, 2015). I do not have too many of them, but I’ve been revising these as … Continue reading Healthy Latin Cooking: Book Review and Testing

Summer Transitions: New position!

As the summer begins to wind down, so is my time in New York City. In the coming months, I will be moving to New Orleans, as an Associate Professor at Tulane University! I arrived in New York City in 2015, as a Provost Faculty Fellow in Food Studies at New York University – my … Continue reading Summer Transitions: New position!

Book announcement: Caribeños at the Table

I am thrilled to share that my book, Caribeños at the Table: How Migration, Health, and Race Intersect in New York City, is scheduled to come out this October 2021 via University of North Carolina Press. The book has been the result of a long and transformative process, beginning back in 2013, when I moved … Continue reading Book announcement: Caribeños at the Table

Exploring Menus: Updates from the field

Originally posted on LARiAProject:
As we continue to wrap up our listening sessions with restaurants, our team has been spending quality time with restaurant menus, learning about food offerings in Latin American restaurants from different angles. We wanted to take note of the kinds of offerings that already exist, including healthier offerings and innovative takes…

Learning from the Literature: Results from our Scoping Review

I am happy to share my latest publication, Facilitating Healthier Eating at Restaurants: A Multidisciplinary Scoping Review Comparing Strategies, Barriers, Motivators, and Outcomes by Restaurant Type and Initiator. This publication was motivated by the need to better understand if and how restaurants have been engaging in strategies that could potentially result in healthier eating. Public … Continue reading Learning from the Literature: Results from our Scoping Review


I have been thinking and learning a lot about ketchup in the past weeks, thanks to Amy Bentley and her recently published article, “Ketchup as a Vegetable: Condiments and the Politics of School Lunch in Reagan’s America.” I recently had the chance to interview Bentley as a guest podcast host for Meant to Be Eaten, … Continue reading Ketchup

Sharing our research: Brooklyn College Magazine

Originally posted on LARiAProject:
We are thrilled about this article published in this month’s Brooklyn College Magazine, “Resiliency Issue.” The piece profiles our project director, Dr. Melissa Fuster, talking about the motivation behind this work, plus two members of our research team: Tara Frank and Elise Harrison. We are thankful for this spotlight, and to…

Introducing LARiA (and a new website look!)

Last March, when I drafted my dispatch for Gastronomica’s special edition on Food in Times of COVID-19, I wrote from a place of uncertainty. My article, Community Health Research, Restaurants, and Adjusting amid Uncertainty, documented my nostalgia for restaurants and the abrupt pause in my restaurant-focused study. I concluded the article with a look to … Continue reading Introducing LARiA (and a new website look!)

Supporting Restaurants: Eating Out and Pushing for Legislation

In late June 2020, New York City restaurant started slowly reopening with outside seating. Many streets have gradually transformed extended into busy sidewalks and by the side of traffic and bike lanes. Personally, it has taken me a while to re-embrace eating out. I have never been a fan of outside seating, especially in the … Continue reading Supporting Restaurants: Eating Out and Pushing for Legislation