LIVE TO EAT: Knowing about Knorr and why it’s “a staple in Mexican-American kitchens.”


Recently while doing research to write magazine profiles of two local Mexican eateries, I stumbled across an article about Knorr, which is one of those exceedingly German phenomenons.

High quality is our food philosophy – one that’s been years in the making. Our story starts back in 1838, when Carl Heinrich Knorr opened a factory in Heilbronn, Germany, supplying chicory to the coffee industry.

He began to experiment with drying vegetables and seasonings, to preserve nutrition and flavor, leading, in 1873, to the launch of the first Knorr® dried soups across Continental Europe.

This breakthrough ushered in a string of advancements. From the launch of the nutritious ‘Erbswurst’, or pea soup, in 1889, to our pioneering Knorr® European sauce mix in 1908, creativity and innovation have been at the heart of everything our chefs do.

In 1912, we introduced something really exciting; the first Knorr® Bouillon cube.Now, families could enjoy delicious dishes at home without the need to make stock from scratch. This humble little product proved a hit! Just one example of how, with dedication and a lot of love, we always endeavour to help you cook better meals every day.

It comes from Germany, then adapts an unexpected Latin American twist.

How Knorr seasoning became a staple in Mexican American kitchens, by Ashlie D. Stevens (Salon)

This German seasoning brand is indispensable for that authentic umami and zing in Mexican & Latin American cuisine

There are maybe three aisles at the Mexican tienda closest to my apartment, each of which are absolutely packed with inventory all the way up to the roof, where rows of primary-colored piñatas and lanyards with sequined and laminated Virgin of Guadalupe appliques dangle from the ceiling tiles. It’s a place for the essentials: a single lime, mango juice, a packet of dried arbol chiles, tortillas — and Knorr-brand granulated chicken bouillon.

Secrets of Louisville Chefs?

While Anthony Lamas, James Beard-nominated owner of Seviche in Louisville, Kentucky, says he remembers it being used in both his mother’s and grandmothers’ kitchens.

“Even non-Latinos, a lot of families in California cook with a Latino influence and know the secrets,” Lamas said. “It’s a great way to add some quick flavor since it has some citric acid and annatto, giving it a little extra flavor. It’s a must for Spanish rice, or any soup or stew.”

It’s worth considering a small portion the next time we go shopping. I cook, albeit at a rudimentary level, and there’s always something else to learn.