Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Food for Thought--Discovering the Pupusa


Recently I was in the Washington DC area visiting with friends whose children suffer from a laundry list of allergies. Combined with my own new sugar-free, wheat-free diet plan, deciding on where to eat for dinner posed a bit of a problem. But not for long. My friend, already well-versed in the nearby take-out restaurants where both of her kids could eat without going into anaphylactic shock, suggested Peruvian food. Not knowing a thing about Peurvian food except that corn plays a prominent role, I happily agreed and allowed her to do the ordering.

When she came back with bags of these bean and cheese stuffed corn pancake things called pupusas, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The pupusa according to Wikipedia actually has its origins in El Salvador, but plays a prominent if not slightly modified role in the cuisines of several Latin American countries. The pupusa is actually just a thick corn tortilla but it's what you stuff it with (pork, beans, cheese, veggies), slather on it, or roll in it (sirloin, lettuce, onions, and cilantro) that makes it so wonderful. The closest thing I can compare it to is an arepa. I don't know how I made it through life up until now never having experienced a pupusa. Am I the only one? Has everyone else out there been noshing on pupusas (Don't you just love saying the word, even? Go ahead say it aloud and tell me it didn't make you giggle.) and just didn't tell me? I will now be going on a mission to find a pupuseria in Philly to feed my cravings. I hope you can find one too.

Peace!

7 comments:

Carleen Brice said...

Just the picture makes me want one!

Re sugar, I went off 2 years ago. When I got sick this summer, fell off the wagon. Now I'm back on. What helps: ear seeds from my acupunturist. If kicking sugar is hard for you, you might give them a try.

Anonymous said...

I love papusas! A few years ago, one of my students suggested a place in Arlington (Va.), and I was hooked until I discovered my dairy allergy. :( Anyway, I am glad someone loves papusas as much as I (used) to. :)

-Emerson Z. Hamsa

riffraff814 said...

I discovered pupusas when I was working in interim office space at a startup in LA. There was this local pupusa place we ate at about once a week for lunch. It was amazing. Especially the pickled cabbage mixture that was just the right amount of peppery. Oh, I *loved* those things. I went back to that neighborhood once after our office had moved, and it had sadly been replaced by a McDonalds. I found a different pupusa place, but theirs were smaller and tougher and just not the same food at all.

Man, I could *totally* go for one now. I may have to look around Seattle, but I fear an extreme lack of choices in Central American/South American foods.

Another wonderful food that I discovered and have lost is okonomiyaki (japanese pancake things). Hey, that uses cabbage, too...

Cloudscome said...

If you find that in Philly definitely let me know. I am Gluten Free and I am always looking for something new and delicious.

glamah16 said...

I love them. And Dc has amazing Latin food choices besides Mexican. I miss it.

nat.snuka said...

DC has many choices for pupusas, I have to say the best ones i've had ANYWHERE are at La Casita in Silver Spring. They've got a lot of choices and actually a good variety of vegetarian dishes(on and off vegetarian)also not to mention inexpensive. Carne Asada is a must try!(on and off vegetarian).

Brook D. Scheiber said...

I always thought pupusa were Salvadoran.

Either way they are TASTY!!!