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What Are Salvadoran Pupusas?

Tortilla and Cheese Lovers, Meet the Pupusa

A craving for Central American and Caribbean food as of late has meant I've scoured the streets of Miami for a decent cubano, as well as the colorful corners of San Francisco's Mission district for authentic Salvadoran pupusas.

Think of the pupusa as a more glorious quesadilla. The people of El Salvador flatten balls of corn dough (made of masa that's been treated with an alkaline solution) into flat filled cakes, each hiding a sliver of refried beans, pork, vegetables, and, more often than not, melted cheese, then heated until warm on the griddle. The end result's served piping hot with piquant curtido (pickled cabbage) and a thin red tomato-based salsa.

On a recent excursion to Balompie Café, the best pupusa I tried was a traditional version filled with cheese and loroco, a Central American flower bud that tasted a bit like bell peppers. If you love Latin flavors and have never laid eyes on the pupusa, it's a Salvadoran street food worth seeking out.

Join The Conversation
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
You can get the recipe for pupusas right this way!
GummiBears GummiBears 6 years
Now I must have some. Thankfully there is a pupuseria not too far from where I live.
lauren lauren 6 years
They had pupusas at Trader Joe's too! Not quite as a good as a fresh one but in a pinch~delicious!!!
zacatecanita zacatecanita 6 years
They sell them frozen at Whole Foods? Great to know...But you should definitely try homemade, because the condiments (cabbage, and salsa) make it even better.
zacatecanita zacatecanita 6 years
I love pupusas!!! I think more than the popusa itself I really enjoy the curtido and tomato I'm craving some!
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
i am seriously drooling.
courtneyd courtneyd 6 years
They're a flatbread, somewhere between naan and chapati in texture, and they're filled with things like onion, cauliflower, potato, paneer, etc. Similar to this, the dough is filled then rolled flat and grilled. Here's a good step-by-step recipe:
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
courtneyd, what are Indian kulcha?!
courtneyd courtneyd 6 years
They kinda look like Indian kulcha. Sounds tasty!
lauren lauren 6 years
I love pupusas! With a tangy cole slaw and a little hot sauce, so delicious!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
recipe, please! yum
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