Dish of the week: Pupusas with cheese and chicharrón

pupusas

You think Austin and San Antonio have beef over tacos?

The origin of the pupusa led to a minor international incident between El Salvador and Honduras during the negotiations of the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement in 2003, with each country wanting to claim the doughy treat as its exclusive export. The crisis was narrowly averted and a couple of years later the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly named the pupusa the country’s national dish. Problem solved?

The soft rounded stuffed masa at this East Austin restaurant come in several varieties. A creamy version at a recent lunch included quesillo cheese and a fatty paste of ground pork (chicharrón). The mixture is spread on the dough, which is then folded over and cooked (likely in pork fat) on a flat-top grill to a sunglow finish. A side of chopped cabbage in a pool of vinegar (cortido de repollo) gave a crunchy, acidic bite to cut the fat.

MyStatesman.com readers click here to find out more about the pupusas and where you can find them.

 

 

Author: Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic & features writer at Austin American @Statesman and @Austin360. Austin-born 6th generation Texan. Left-handed.

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