Pupusa (Salvadoran pancake, 1956)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Oct 3 01:38:54 UTC 2002


   From this week's VILLAGE VOICE, October 2-8, 2002, pg. 80, col. 2:

_best perfect pupusas_
The Salvadoran pupusa is the world's most overlooked pancake.  Versatile and
humble, they function as snacks, accompaniments, or entire meals.  The best
are found far out on the Rockaway Peninsula at _EL REFUGIO_, which sports a
broader range than just the usual bean, cheese, and pork.  One is stuffed
with leathery zucchini, while the plain cheese is engagingly tweaked with
loroco flowers.  114-11 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Queens, 718-634-5097.

   From THE OXFORD COMPANION TO FOOD (1999), pg. 151:

   Salvador is thickly strewn with _pupuserias_, selling _pupusas_, which are
small thick tortillas variously filled (beans, sausage, cheese).

   There are about 1,000 hits on Google.  Notice that the VILLAGE VOICE
didn't just mention the "pupusa"--there was a category for the "best pupusa"
in New York.
   It looks like we have another "momo" on our hands.
   Does it get mentioned in the OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD?  Again,
it's not my call.  All I can say that the food is being eaten and written
about it New York City.
   Does it get entered in the OED?  Again, it's not my call, but I didn't
   Here are some historical cites:

by Lilly de Jongh Osborne
New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company

Pg. 70:
   At nightfall they sit beside portable stoves and cook _pupusas_ (large
corn-paste cakes filled with delicious cream cheese), which must be eaten
very hot, directly from the clay dish on which they have been roasted; or
they prepared steaming hot coffee mixed with heaps of black sugar and served
in clay cups, or they serve _atole_, a drink made from ground coffee.

by Jeff Brauer, Julian Smith and Veronica Wiles
On Your Own Publications

Pg. 85:
   _Pupusas_, the most distinctive Salvadoran food, are small, thick
_tortillas_ filled with soft, white cheese.  They're often fried, and are
great hot off the skillet.  A special version of _papusas_, made from rice,
is sold in the town of Olocuilta (see Olocuilta).  You'll probably want to
put some _cortido de repollo_--pickled and chopeed cabbage and carrots, often
in a jar on the table--on top of your _papusas_ to add some crunch and cool
them down, followed by a sprinkle of chili sauce to heat them back up.  You
also have a choice of what goes inside: _chicharron_ (fried pork rinds);
_queso_ (cheese); _frijoles_ (beans); or _revuelta_ (everything).

Pg. 86:
      _Salvadoran Recipes_
   _Masa_ (a finely-ground corn meal available at many specialty food stores)
   Soft white cheese, such as mozzarella
   Tobasco sauce
Mix the _masa_ with water and form thje resulting dough into two thin
_tortillas_, each about five inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inch thick.  Place
the cheese in the center of one _tortilla_ and place the other on top,
pressing the edges together to seal the filling inside.  Place in a hot pan
or onb a griddle with a dash of vegetable oil and cook evenly on both sides.
Serve with tabasco sauce and _curtido de repollo_ (see below).  Other
fillings can be substituted for cheese, including cooked beans and meat.

_Curtido de Repollo_
_(Chopped cabbage in vinegar)_
   One cabbage
   Carrot, onion
   Oregano, salt, chili pepper
Slice the cabbage and vegetables into small strips, place in vinegar and add
oregano, salt and chili pepper to taste.  Allow the mixture to soak for
approximately six hours before serving with _pupusas_.



    Another opinion (which states it well), from the NY Times web site board:

<A HREF="http://forums.nytimes.com/webin/WebX?224@13.3xpVafEsUv5^0@cc50a@.f0700c1/4284">frnagle1b </A>- 10:46am Oct 2, 2002 EST (#<A HREF="http://forums.nytimes.com/webin/WebX?14@13.3xpVafEsUv5^0@.f0700c1/4284">4067</A> of 4068) ok, i've had it already
with nigella's column. it's even worse than the bridget-jones'-diary known as
amanda hesser. at least amanda has pretty much admitted that she can't really
cook -- readers only wait for her to also realize she can't really write. but
nigella is so bad it's shocking. first column, she offers us a bit about
tuscany -- as if it were new to us? -- we're not the british blue-hairs who
hang about in sorrento at the foreigner's club -- that further insults us by
not actually offering a tuscan menu. now she praises those british "nursery
dishes" and actually offers us a recipe for toad-in-hole. as if we would want
to eat it? even british people don't want to eat it. what will she
breathlessly offer us next? bubble-and-squeak? why is the new york times
presenting us with food that wouldn't even appear in woman's day? contrast
both amanda hesser and nigella with recent pieces by judy rodgers. now
there's a woman who can cook, write, and offer recipes of interest. hire
judy; lose amanda and nigella.

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