El Salvadorian Pupusa

Pupusa is a traditional El Salvadorian dish made with a thick corn tortilla stuffed with fillings of pork (chicharrón) , mashed refried beans, cheese (queso), onions, mushrooms or chillies. The two most commonly found pupusas are the pupusa de queso (cheese) and more popular pupusa revuelta with mixed ingredients of cheese, beans, and chicharrón. Pupusas are served hot off the griddle with curtido, a pickled salad of shredded carrots, onion and cabbage, and homemade tomato sauce.

To make pupusas, you need to first get nixtamal, corn dough that has undergone a preparation process involving an alkaline solution before cooking, which contributes to the peeling of the grains, making valuable nutrients available. This process was developed in Mesoamerica around 1500–1200 BC. Early Mesoamericans used quicklime or slaked lime and ashes as the alkaline solution. Dried nixtamal is now commercially available. (source: Wikipedia)

Pupusa de arroz uses rice flour instead of corn, to make the dough and is stuffed with chopped pork, cheese, beans, zucchini, and other vegetables.

Casual cafes, known as pupuserias serve this El Salvadorian fast foods all over the country. Even the locals head out to pupuserias for Sunday hangouts. Its considered cheap comfort food and costs only $0.40-1.00 per papusa. As you get off the airport in the capital San Salvador and head towards the city, you will see a pupuseria-hub right off the highway in Olocuilta. This town is marked to be the birthplace of pupusasGenerally, you will see Salvadorian women cooking the pupusas right in front of you. The row of pupuserias you will see here are all named after their owners – Cristy, Mary, Brenda, Yancy, Rina, Tanya and Zoila!

Watch Eco Experiencias tour guide, Eduardo demonstrating How to make El Salvadorian pupusas in the kitchen of Pupuseria Olguita restaurant at Ahuachapán, El Salvador.

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