Labor Day Without the Labor

by Chef Noly and Bella
(Chicago, Illinois and Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

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Chef Noly: Arroz a la Valenciana is a quick, convenient dish to make that doesn't require a lot of labor. It's a perfect choice for a Bolivian Labor Day meal. It reheats well so it can be made in advance. Visit for the recipe then click on the link to return here to Bella's Wacataya Wednesdays page. Chef Noly

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Jul 08, 2010
Labor Day Without the Labor
by: BoliviaBella

Few countries in South America have preserved their indigenous cultural heritage, customs and traditions, music and dance, festivals and art as well as Bolivia has. Therefore, while many people know something about Spain's role in shaping our history, politics, geography and economy, few consider just how much Spain influenced our food! In fact, many dishes that are considered "typical Bolivian food" are actually local adaptations of European recipes that over the centuries have been adjusted to the Bolivian palate and ingredients available in the region.

Arroz a la Valenciana is one of these. The important thing is it can be prepared and easily and quickly, so it's a great dish to make when you have a large family or are expecting a lot of guests. And in Bolivia, where people tend to gather with extended family or offer very large get-togethers really often, "easy, quick and big" are very convenient adjectives.

Labor Day is one of those "large get-together" kind of days. Families gather and many companies throw office parties in big outdoor areas. Bolivia celebrates Labor Day on May 1st each year. This might seem strange to Americans, but Bolivia's Labor Day is actually based on something that happened over 100 years ago in Chicago, Illinois!

Meanwhile, in the USA Labor Day is actually celebrated on the first Monday of every September and is also based on events that took place elsewhere (and 16 years earlier, in 1870) in Canada! (OK, Chef Noly tells me some people claim it all started in New York and there are other versions.)

Oh well, you're here because you're interested in Bolivia so read more about Labor Day in Bolivia and try Chef Noly's Arroz a la Valenciana any day of the year!

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