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Immigration has become a new phenomenon in Spanish society during the last years. In 2007, immigrants represented around 10% of total population, with 35% coming from Latin-American countries. When immigrants arrive, they bring their own values and cultural symbols, which, essentially, are different from those of the indigenous population. As time goes through, two alternative processes are observed: 1) a gradual switch towards the Host Society values; or 2) a maintenance of their ethnical identity. Focussing in the Latin-American immigrants in Barcelona, the objective of this paper is twofold: 1) to measure their degree of ethnical identity; and 2) to analyse the relationship between food habits and their ethnical identity. Food habits refer here to the consumption of traditional meals from their country of origin. Face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of Latin American immigrants in the Metropolitan area of Barcelona are undertaken. First, socioeconomics characteristics of the sample are described. Second, the MEIM scale is used to measure their ethnical identity, which combines aspects from the social identity and personal development theories. Finally, a Multinomial Logit Model is estimated to identify the relationship between food habits and ethnical identity. Results indicate that the higher the level of ethnic identity and feeling of belonging, the greater the persistence of dietary habits from the country of origin.


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