Though we didn’t get to visit El Salvador during our five month trip to Central America, we did get the chance to try their awesome national dish, pupusa. Man do we love us some pupusas! It’s actually impossible not to love this piece of heaven. It’s so good that having only one is an insult to not just your stomach but your taste buds.
You know that feeling you get when your mommy makes you your favorite pancakes in the morning, well that’s the feeling you get with pupusas … times ten!
Okay, I know you might think I am exaggerating but if you are ever in Guatemala, Honduras or in the motherland of pupusas, i.e. El Salvador take a bite of this street food snack, and then and only then will you know where I am coming from.
So, What are Pupusas ?
Pupusas are handmade corn tortillas filled with various ingredients (listed below). They are served with a side of curtido (cabbage and vinegar slaw) and watery tomato salsa.
Basic Filling Ingredients
- Queso (cheese)
- Frijoles (refried beans)
- Chicharrones (fried pork belly or rinds)
- Pollo (chicken)
- Revulta (a mix of beans, pork and cheese)
Advance/Special Filled ingredients
- Cuatro Queso (four cheese)
- Loroco (a type of white flower buds)
- Ayote (a type of squash)
- Pescado/Camaron (fish/shrimp)
- Mora (blueberries)
Side note: There is a restaurant in Antigua, Guatemala called Pupuseria El Sapo y La Rana where you can find not only regular size pupusas but also pizza size pupusas for about $2.50 USD (Q20).
Why They’re So Awesome?
1. They’re delicious. Though it doesn’t look like much, it taste delicious. It’s the perfect example of not judging a book by it’s cover.
2. They are addictive. No matter how much you eat, you can never get tired of them because there are so many variations.
3. It’s wicked cheap. Depending on what country you are in, you can get this snack for US$0.25 – 0.50 and for a stomach full (3-4 pupusas) i.e cheap dinner it would cost you less than $1.50 USD.
4. There is a National Pupusa Day. On the second Sunday of November, everyone in El Salvador stuffs their face with pupusas and honors the pupusa god. Okay, I made the last part up, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one. I mean seriously how many dishes do you know that have their own national holiday?
5. You can practically get it anywhere. From street corners, regular restaurants to dedicated shops called Pupusarias, they all sell them. But apparently there are no pupusas like the ones in El Salvador. After all that’s where they are from!
How To Eat Them!
Rule #1: Know that one pupusa is never enough! Get three upon order. Trust me it will save you the hustle of trying to wait in line again to order another one while your taste buds are going crazy from eating one of the best street food snack in Central America. They are like chips, you can’t just eat one and call it a day.
Rule#2: No pupusa is meant to be eaten by itself. Pupusas are served with a side of curtido (cabbage and vinegar slaw) and salsa, so don’t be afraid to use them. They give it to you for a reason!
Rule#3: Show some respect and put the fork and knife down and eat that filled tortilla with your hands. Yes! I just said hands. Napkins are provided upon request as most people prefer to lick their fingers. They’re that good!
If you didn’t get the hint, we love pupusas, I mean we did just dedicate a whole blog post to it! If you are in Central America you have to try them and if you don’t like it bill me, I will be more than happy to reimburse you your 20 cents. :D
Do you have a favorite street food snack? Let us know. We are street food junkies and we need to know where the good stuff is at!