There is hardly any food more ubiquitous around the world than meat or vegetable-filled pockets of dough. Sure, you can call it by different names -jiaozi in China, samosas in India, curry puffs in Singapore- but the idea is essentially the same. Empanadas are South America’s contribution to the universe of crescent shaped pastries, and beloved in Argentina, where you can find empanadas in almost all restaurants and bakeries. Available both oven baked or deep fried, the small empanadas are eaten by hand, and can be downed in 3 or less bites, making them great as appetizers and beer food. And although we usually ate empanadas as appetizers to more substantial mains, a happy docena could as easily be a filling, inexpensive lunch for 2 or even 3.
The Argentine empanada is typically filled with beef or cheese, like other types of stuffed pastries, singapore’s believed curry puffs included, the variety of fillings are endless, from mono-ingredient to a sophisticated mix, such as Yacon’s (of Tilcara) quinoa and vegetable empanada. Most of the time, In the city of Salta located in the Andean Northwest, empanadas are served with a slightly spicy tomato and chili salsa, a boon to spice lovers. While P eschewed from the salsa picante, I relished it, and found that the best way to incorporate the salsa was to use the soup dumpling method, i.e. take a bite of the empanadas (take care not to squirt hot meat juices all over yourself), then drop the salsa into the incision. And so you have it, an introduction to Argentina’s most popular snack!