This whole essay is more of a “How to”. It is going to be called, How to make Pupusas. There will be the basic instructions and some of the history behind them. After all of this you will enjoy a fine dinner/lunch/breakfast for your whole life. We will start with the basics. This is no rocket science I will tell you that now. Pupusas is made of a thick homemade corn tortilla. It is filled with a blend of cheese, cooked pork meat, and refried beans. To add flavor, we may add loroco which is a vine flower bud from Central America.
They are served with curtido (Cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar) and a watery tomato salsa. A lot of people mistake the Pupusa with the Gordita from Mexico. The only differences are that the gordita is filled with more stuff and has an opening. This typical Salvadoran food has been around for more than 2000 years. They were created centuries ago by the Pipil tribes. They lived in the territory now known as El Salvador. Until the late 1940s this food became popular around the country when people moves out of towns to cities.
When the Salvadoran Civil War broke down a lot of people were forced to move out of the county, where their destination was the United States. This is what made us come here and migrate with our tradition and culture. This all happened in the 1980s, since that day you can find pupuserias (places where pupusas are sold) anywhere where there is a major population of Salvadoreans. Some places include the states of Maryland, Texas, California, and the country of Canada as well as many more places.
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Now that we know all about the history and what pupusas are, let’s start cooking! First we need to make the masa. In El Salvador, we would have to take moist corn and take it to a place to ground it all up. Here in the United States we are lucky to have Maseca, an all-usage flour that Hispanics use a lot to cook. We mix that up with water until smooth, we don’t want it watery though. After that we let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Afterwards you want to gather a ball of dough and make about a few 2 diameter wide balls.
Try to make a little dent in the middle of the ball, that way there would be a little pocket for the filling. Make sure that it is thick, afterward you put cheese or beans, or pork in the middle. Then we have to close it like a dumpling, after we have it closed you want to make the circle again. You could put a little bit of oil on both sides so then when you put it on the skillet it won’t stick and burn. You put the skillet on medium-high and let it rest there for about two minutes on each side.
Overall with the prep and cooking time it would take you about 45 minutes. Everything is very simple to make and super delicious. The last thing to make would be el curtido and la salsa. To make el curtido you will need a cabbage, carrots, and jalapenos or chili peppers, and vinegar. You chop up the cabbage into thin slices and the carrots. The jalapenos can be chopped in tiny squares so that way spice don’t overpower the taste. Then you mix all of those ingredients into vinegar and water and you let it sit throughout the night, make sure to do this a day beforehand.
The salsa is way easy to make, all you need would be tomatoes, salt, and pepper. You boil the tomatoes in a pan filled with water, make sure that they get soft but not totally destroyed. Then you blend it with water and put some salt and pepper. You can also add chopped onions or green peppers to the mix. Then you just blend all of those together and you just put it on a container with the container of el curtido for serving time! I hope this helped out and now you can enjoy a little bit of my home country, something super valuable to me and my culture.