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Monday, September 14, 2009

Pupusas (Stuffed Tortillas)- Toronto

I was born in El Salvador, a tiny country in Central America with many problems but with good food. The national dish is something called pupusas, which are basically stuffed tortillas served with curtido (sort of like a vinegar base coleslaw) and tomato sauce. They are usually filled with refried beans, soft cheese and chicharron (fried pork meat). Alas, I think that the name pupusas is rather unfortunate as it has hampered their popularity as it is not particularly appetizing sounding.The Pipiles which are the indigenous native group in El Salvador started making them more than a thousand years ago. I know, Pipiles eating pupusas, it doesn't sound too good does it?
There is a Latin store near my parents' house in Toronto which also houses a small pupuseria (place where they make pupusas). I like going there because it is like a little slice of Central America and as close as I'll probably ever get to being in El Salvador again. There is always loud Latin American music playing and everyone in the store speaks Spanish.
Here are some shots of the decor. Not fancy but it works.

Now for the actual pupusas. I always get a chicharron and cheese pupusa. I got two this time but I should have ordered another one since I don't get to have them often.

Here is the curtido.
Here is the tomato sauce. 
Here is everything together. This is not first date food as it is eaten with your hands and invariably becomes a rather messy experience although it is part of the fun.

Here is a shot of the inside of a pupusa.
And to wash the whole thing down I had a Cola Champagne, which is basically Central America's version of cream soda. It's really hard to describe the taste but cracking one open always reminds me of being a kid in El Salvador.
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