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The Versatile Mexican Food Empanadas

Empanada is a word, which means "wrapped in bread" in Spanish and these delicious little pastries are made by wrapping a round dough pastry in half over a filling to make a semicircle. Empanadas make tasty snacks at any time of the day and are popular throughout Latin America as well as in Spain.

Empanadas through History

Mexican empanadas are thought to derive from Galicia in Spain and they arrived in Latin America when the Galician colonists did. A Galician empanada is a large round or square pie, which is served in slices, making it a hearty and portable lunch for workers. Variations of this kind of portable snack include Italian calzone, Indian samosas, and Cornish pasties. Actually most cultures have a kind of "pocket" or meat pie type dish because they are handy to carry around.

Chicken, cod or pork loin are popular fillings for Galician empanadas and these are very popular in Latin America because there are plenty of Galician colonists living there. Both Argentina and Uruguay consider empanadas to be a national dish.

Empanadas, which are also known by a variety of regional names, can be stuffed with many different meat, fish, vegetable, or sweet combinations but mincemeat sautéed with seasonings is an especially popular filling. These pastries are usually baked, shallow fried or deep-fried and they can be a Mexican typical meal. The fried kind are supposed to be eaten hot and the baked ones can be eaten either fresh from the oven, reheated or cold.

Empanada crusts are normally made from water, wheat flour, salt and fat (butter, lard, shortening or margarine). The crust might be plain or seasoned.

Types of Mexican Empanadas

Mexicans like to eat their empanadas whenever they feel like it, making them great fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers, or desserts! These are certainly a versatile Mexican food.

Mexican fillings can include guava, pumpkin, cream, sweet potato, yam, fruit, cheese, seafood, meat, and chicken. The dough is either wheat or corn based depending on the Mexican region. In Chiapas, chicken or cheese empanadas are popular. In the Hidalgo region, empanadas are particularly famous.

These wonderful little snacks cannot be overlooked if you are interested in Mexican food culture and you will find them simple to make if you want to create your own. Empanadas are delicious served hot and the whole family is sure to enjoy whichever variety you make. You can buy frozen readymade empanadas from the store but they are not a patch on homemade ones and no self-respecting Mexican would use thawed readymade pasties to their family!

Empanadas are a tasty treat at any time of the day and they make a welcome change from sandwiches in packed lunches. They have evolved throughout Mexican food history to become one of the most popular and well-known Mexican food staples enjoyed in modern times.

Empanadas are just one of many unique dishes found in Mexican cooking and you will be amazed at how many variations Mexican cooking does offer. The more you find out about Mexican cooking the more you will come to love its wonderful blend of fresh ingredients and new and old world cuisine.
About Author KC Kudra :

Mexican food is a clever combination of traditional Mexican ingredients and aromatic spices. There are many different Mexican meals you can make yourself for your family, like the delicious ones at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Find cooking tips, an in depth guide to Mexican food and much more.

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Article Added on Friday, March 6, 2009
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