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Plan the Perfect Beach Picnic

Maybe it’s the sun, or the salt air, or the water, but whatever it is there is something about the beach that always leaves me starving. Concession stand curly fries and ice cream are great, but sometimes you just need something more, such as a Latin food feast that allows for snacking throughout the day. Dining a la beach presents a unique set of challenges, most of them involving sand. The key to planning the right beach picnic is having the right menu, the right supplies and picking the right location. Here, Latin food experts and beach lovers Stacy Horn of Surfas Culinary District and Carey Yorio of Goya Foods shared their tips for beach eating.

What to Eat

To be the perfect beach food, dishes need to travel well, taste better the longer they sit out, and stand up to sand. When preparing your menu think of simple, hearty dishes. Nothing delicate or fussy. Start with chopped up veggies, chips and dips, and salsas, items that taste better after marinading and don't have yogurt or mayo. Also keep in mind that hands will be busy with sunscreen and sand castles, so build your menu on one-handed bites. 

For heartier fare, make burritos or mini sandwiches at home, wrap them up in containers, and eat without silverware once you get to the shore. These dishes are easy to pack, transport and eat. Lighten up the day with fruit and salad options: Yorio says if you want fruit, grill fruit skewers beforehand and then remove the skewers and transport the fruit in zip-top bags. For salads think quinoa options that can be eaten hot or cold or bean saladsFor any salad, remember to keep the dressing seperate until you're ready to serve. 

After you’ve settled on the food remember to pack plenty of refreshments either in a cooler or freeze beforehand (in this case, foods double as an ice pack). Load up on agua frescas, and add a little something alcholic to the mix for the adults. 

Now, what to pack, where to eat, and what to make...

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