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Gorditas, Arepas, and Pupusas

Gorditas, Arepas, and Pupusas are all corn cakes that are cooked on a griddle or pan.  While these dishes all have some similar ingredients and are all traditional dishes from Latin America, each has its own unique characteristics and flavors.

Gorditas

Origin: Mexico

Gorditas, which means “little fat ones” in Spanish, are thick, round, and stuffed cornmeal pockets. The dough is typically made from masa harina (corn flour), water, and sometimes a bit of fat. Gorditas puff up when fried in oil, forming an air pocket somewhat like pita bread. The gorditas are then filled with various ingredients such as cheese, meats, beans, or vegetables, and they are often grilled or fried until they develop a crispy exterior.  Making your own Gorditas are so much better than that Taco fast-food place, and easy to make.  Follow this recipe for great homemade Gorditas: https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/gorditas-with-sausage-and-potato-filling/

Arepas

Origin: Venezuela and Colombia

Arepas are flat, round cakes made from cornmeal called masarepa, a special precooked corn flour.  It is a granulated flour that when mixed with water, produced a heavy dough that is shaped into discs.The dough can be mixed with water, salt, and sometimes a bit of oil. The cornmeal dough gives them a creamy texture on the inside, while the griddle produces a crispy crust on the outside. Arepas can be grilled, baked, or fried, and they are often split open and filled with various ingredients like cheese, meats, avocados, or beans. They are a staple in the diets of Venezuelans and Colombians and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Here is an easy recipe for Arepas: https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/arepas/

Pupusas

Origin: El Salvador

Pupusas are thick, handmade corn tortillas stuffed with various fillings, such as cheese, beans, or pork.  Pupusas are similar to Mexican tortillas, except that they are slightly thicker, and they are stuffed with a filling before they are cooked. The dough is made from masa harina (corn masa), and the filling is placed in the center first, then shaped into a flat, round disc. Pupusas are typically cooked on a griddle until they have a golden-brown crust. They are often served with a pickled cabbage slaw, and a tomato-based salsa.  Try this easy recipe for Pupusas: https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/traditional-pupusas-recipe/

While each of these corn cakes has its regional variations, they all showcase the diverse and delicious culinary traditions of Latin America.  Now that you know how easy these are to make, why not try one?  Head to your neighborhood Food Town for a large selection of corn flours and everything else to accompany them.

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