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#1
Old 11-08-2013, 01:29 PM
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Anybody here eat pupusas?

Apparently a pupusa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupusa is a stuffed corn tortilla served with a tomato sauce and a cabbage slaw. Sounds pretty good and there's a pupusaria down the street that I want to check out.

But what's the proper way to approach this dish? Break it open and stuff with the cabbage? Plop the cabbage on top and eat with fork? Or perhaps fold the thing around the cabbage and eat it like a taco?

I might be a slob, but I don't want to look like one in the restaurant. Advise, please?
#2
Old 11-08-2013, 02:00 PM
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I love pupusas, but the El Salvadorian restaurant that serves them here doesn't stuff anything into anything. The filing is kind of mixed in with the masa and it all gets fried together. Yummy, but the heavy carb load may induce a nap.

Eat them any old way you please! You've reminded me that I haven't been to that restaurant in a while and I need to go soon.

Something else they serve that is good is fried plantains. They serve them with sour cream and a size of refried beans. Interesting combo, but it works.
#3
Old 11-08-2013, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucciface View Post
But what's the proper way to approach this dish? Break it open and stuff with the cabbage? Plop the cabbage on top and eat with fork? Or perhaps fold the thing around the cabbage and eat it like a taco?
I just eat it with a fork and usually spear some curtido (the cabbage) with the same fork so they are in the same bite.

Mmm. Pupusas. I recommend pupusas revuelta: cheese, refried beans, and chicharrón (pork). I think they might be the default pupusa.

Curtido can be really spicy, so if you aren't into that, be cautious. So good.
#4
Old 11-08-2013, 02:46 PM
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There's an El Salvadorian taqueria down the street from us which has fantastic!! pupusas! I just pick them up and eat them; no idea if that's wrong or right. Miguel, the guy behind the counter, hasn't said anything, so either it's okay or he's just being polite.
#5
Old 11-08-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucciface View Post
Plop the cabbage on top and eat with fork?
That's what I do. But there are no rules - it's only a half-step removed from street food and I would eat it any old way you like. But yeah, it's super heavy food. Delicious super-heavy food.
#6
Old 11-08-2013, 03:12 PM
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I used to slice them halfway around the edge, stuff in some curtido and chow down.

Sadly, I see that El Calderon has closed after 44 years...
#7
Old 11-08-2013, 03:45 PM
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I just eat the slaw on the side, possibly mixed in with a little sauce. The Salvadorean restaurant near me gives you a choice between the traditional tomato sauce and a thick coarse spicy sauce that's sort of a tomato mole - I usually go with the latter, spread it thickly over the pupusas, and eat them with a knife and fork.

Usually, I get one or two cheese pupusas on the side with an order of yuca frita (fried pork, sort of like carnitas, served over cassava fries), and I put the slaw and the hot sauce on top of that.
#8
Old 11-08-2013, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Ministre de l'au-delà View Post
There's an El Salvadorian taqueria down the street from us which has fantastic!! pupusas! I just pick them up and eat them; no idea if that's wrong or right. Miguel, the guy behind the counter, hasn't said anything, so either it's okay or he's just being polite.
You should hear what he says about you after you leave... Then he writes it up in the Pupusa Forum. What? You've never seen it? Forget I said anything.

Seriously. I may have to head over to my Salvadorean place tomorrow....
#9
Old 11-08-2013, 04:08 PM
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90% of the time, I've eaten them with a knife and fork (and skip the curtido, cuz that shit is nasty, yo) purely because they have been too greasy or too hot off the grill or just too heavy to eat by hand. But where it has been possible to eat them using only my hands, I have gone that route gladly.
#10
Old 11-08-2013, 04:15 PM
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Yeah. When I had a Salvadoran place down the way, I would just cut them with a knife and fork and eat them, intermixing with bites of 'slaw'.
#11
Old 11-08-2013, 06:45 PM
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Man, I miss the pupuseria that used to be about a mile east of me. Also the other one that used to be about 2 blocks south and another 3 blocks east. Both are gone now, and the only one left in this neighborhood isn't nearly greasy enough.

My college roomie was Salvadoran-American, and whenever she went home for the weekend and her dad gave her a ride back to campus, she'd bring a bagful. We ate them by ripping off pieces and then using them to scoop up the curtido. She married a Brit and lives in small town England these days, and whenever I visit, I am required to bring ingredients. Apparently it's not so easy to buy masa harina in small-town England.
#12
Old 11-08-2013, 07:41 PM
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I absolutely love pupusas. Each forkful should have a piece of pupusa and a healthy serving of curtido, with some salsa.

My favorite pupusa place is actually in the middle of nowhere (well, sort of), and i only get to eat there when my wife and i drive from San Diego to San Francisco. It's at a little spot called Buttonwillow, just off I-5 near Bakersfield in the Central Valley, and is almost exactly half-way between SD and SF, so it's a perfect place to break the journey.

There's a McDonald's across the street, and i always laugh at the people pulling in there, and at the crappy food they're getting, when they could be sitting down to an awesome lunch of pupusas, curtido, fried yucca, and fried plantains with crema.

It's not the place to pull into if you're in a real hurry, because they do all the pupusas fresh to order, and it can take about 20-30 minutes to get your order, but it's really worth it. We always get a full order of stuff to eat, plus a full order to take away and eat when we arrive.
#13
Old 11-08-2013, 07:45 PM
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I want to like pupusas but every time I try them I'm always underwhelmed.
#14
Old 11-10-2013, 01:35 AM
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I'm Salvadoran and grew up eating pupusas. My parents would occasionally take my siblings and me to a pupuseria, and Mom would split the freshly made pupusas open lengthwise for us kids so they would cool down a bit and we wouldn't burn our mouths. To this day I still split pupusas in half before I eat them, even if they're not all that hot, just out of habit. I like eating them with my hands, and piling curtido on my plate so I can pick some up with a piece of pupusa. I can take or leave the tomato sauce, since it's usually made a bit too watery for my taste. I liked going to Los Molcajetes in East L.A., but I'm not sure if they're still around.
#15
Old 11-10-2013, 03:19 PM
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Wow, I REALLY misread the thread title at first glance!
#16
Old 11-10-2013, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Wow, I REALLY misread the thread title at first glance!
You're not the only one!
#17
Old 11-10-2013, 04:50 PM
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I had one once; DC has a huge Salvadoran community. It seemed like beef gravy in a folded piece of white bread. I never went back for seconds.
#18
Old 11-10-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Wow, I REALLY misread the thread title at first glance!
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
You're not the only one!
Hehe. Like the time I told my friend I was going to get some puffy tacos and she thought I said puppy tacos.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
I had one once; DC has a huge Salvadoran community. It seemed like beef gravy in a folded piece of white bread. I never went back for seconds.
That was NOT a pupusa. Not even close. Does not resemble white bread, folded or otherwise. A pupusa looks more like a gordita, if you know what that is. Or kind of like a pita bread.
#19
Old 11-11-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
My college roomie was Salvadoran-American, and whenever she went home for the weekend and her dad gave her a ride back to campus, she'd bring a bagful. We ate them by ripping off pieces and then using them to scoop up the curtido. She married a Brit and lives in small town England these days, and whenever I visit, I am required to bring ingredients. Apparently it's not so easy to buy masa harina in small-town England.
The more's the pity -- I'm in England (lifelong resident) -- in a big city: but El Salvador and things Salvadoran seem basically to be not much, if at all, on Brits' radar. I have recently got interested in the country, via a subject totally other-than-culinary: strikes me as a decidedly cool place, in its quirky way. I feel moved to try to make pupusas, or some kind of not-too-far-removed equivalent -- presumably substitutes will be findable here, which would be less than a million miles off the ideal mark.
#20
Old 11-11-2013, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Wow, I REALLY misread the thread title at first glance!
I have no earthly idea what you are talking about.
#21
Old 11-11-2013, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by vontsira View Post
The more's the pity -- I'm in England (lifelong resident) -- in a big city: but El Salvador and things Salvadoran seem basically to be not much, if at all, on Brits' radar. I have recently got interested in the country, via a subject totally other-than-culinary: strikes me as a decidedly cool place, in its quirky way. I feel moved to try to make pupusas, or some kind of not-too-far-removed equivalent -- presumably substitutes will be findable here, which would be less than a million miles off the ideal mark.
If you find masa harina anywhere in the UK, or even anywhere that ships to the UK, please let me know!
#22
Old 11-11-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vontsira View Post
The more's the pity -- I'm in England (lifelong resident) -- in a big city: but El Salvador and things Salvadoran seem basically to be not much, if at all, on Brits' radar. I have recently got interested in the country, via a subject totally other-than-culinary: strikes me as a decidedly cool place, in its quirky way. I feel moved to try to make pupusas, or some kind of not-too-far-removed equivalent -- presumably substitutes will be findable here, which would be less than a million miles off the ideal mark.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
If you find masa harina anywhere in the UK, or even anywhere that ships to the UK, please let me know!
Not very hopeful, but will try. I'm quite a foodie; but my brother is much more of a one than me. Will consult him...
#23
Old 11-11-2013, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
If you find masa harina anywhere in UK, or even anywhere that ships to the UK, please let me know!
Amazon.uk has some options.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 11-11-2013 at 03:07 PM.
#24
Old 11-13-2013, 09:54 AM
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Sorry about bumping my own thread. I just wanted to thank everyone for your responses. (Haven't been around for a few days.)

Anyway, pupusas are my lunch plans today! Thanks, again.
#25
Old 11-13-2013, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Wow, I REALLY misread the thread title at first glance!
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
You're not the only one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Hehe. Like the time I told my friend I was going to get some puffy tacos and she thought I said puppy tacos. . . . .
So, we were all seeing puppies, right? At first glance.

To make up for it, I googled around and found where they are being served in Stockton. Sometime during the holiday season, I will try some.
#26
Old 11-13-2013, 01:19 PM
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I have a truck near me. I always wanted to try them but it seemed whenever I drove by I was in a hurry to get somewhere and couldn't stop. When I finally had some time, I stopped by but it was a cash only transaction and I had none. One day everything came together and I bought a couple. I was supremely disappointed. Bland, bland, bland.

I guess once you get south of Mexico, spice becomes much less of a component of the food.
#27
Old 11-13-2013, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar Mundane View Post
I have a truck near me. I always wanted to try them but it seemed whenever I drove by I was in a hurry to get somewhere and couldn't stop. When I finally had some time, I stopped by but it was a cash only transaction and I had none. One day everything came together and I bought a couple. I was supremely disappointed. Bland, bland, bland.

I guess once you get south of Mexico, spice becomes much less of a component of the food.
Pupasas themselves are mild, like quesadillas or the like. Especially the rice ones.

Curtido, though, can be really very nicely spicy.
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