What do you eat in El Salvador?
Corn and beans are the main staple foods in El Salvador, a country located in Central America according to ebizdir. Pupusas are considered the national dish. They were traditionally eaten by the Pipil Indians. These are thick dough cakes baked from corn dough (Masa de Maiz, Maseca) that are filled. The filling can be cheese, for example, the quesillo, which melts when you heat it. Sometimes the cheese is also seasoned with Loroco fruits. But even with pork (crispy fried pork rind, Chicharrón) or refried beans can fill the Pupusas. Or you mix everything together as a filling! Unlike the tortilla, the filling comes in before frying! There is also coleslaw (Curtido) and a tomato sauce. You can find a recipe for pupusas inParticipation tip !
Another typical dish is fried cassava. It is served with a salad of cabbage, onions and carrots, similar to the coleslaw from the USA. There is also pork and fried sardines. Turkey sandwiches are also part of Salvadoran cuisine. They are called Panes Rellenos, which translates as “filled bread”.
Chicken in Chicha (Gallo en Chicha) is often cooked for celebrations. Chicha is a beer that is made in Central and South America. What would you like from a sopa de patashold? For this soup one uses the meat of beef legs or also tripe, so the innards of the beef stomach. Then there are vegetables, for example green beans, corn, cassava or chayotes.
Yuca con chicharrón is soft-boiled cassava with a chimol (or chirmol), a salad made from tomatoes, onions, radishes, pepper, salt and lemon juice. There is also cabbage and pork (chicharrón).
Other dishes are also known from other countries such as Mexico or Guatemala, for example tortillas, which are also served as a side dish with many meals, or tamales: corn dough cooked in the leaves of plantains. Plantain itself is often served for breakfast, fried in slices.
People also like to eat something sweet like the Torrejas, also known as Tostados. A slice of white bread is dipped in milk with honey and then in egg and then fried. You can also put cinnamon and sugar on it. Torrejas are a typical Easter meal.
Pan de dulce, or “sweet bread”, comes in countless varieties. It is usually named after its shape, for example as a kiss, shell, horn, ear or stone. Leche poleada, a vanilla cream, is popular as a dessert.
What to drink
Atole is a popular drink, a hot drink made from corn and water. There are several variants. For example, Atol shuco or Chuco for short is popular. It is made from fermented corn, water, salt and the spice alguashte. There is also a black bean purée.
The chuco is served in a huacal. It is made from the hard peel of the Morro tree. It looks more like a soup to us, but is considered a drink and is drunk from the Huacal without a spoon. In the picture you can see a Huacal with atole.
As a cold drink there is the horchata (pronounced: ortschata), which is not made from rice, as in Mexico or Guatemala, but from the seeds of the Morro tree, which taste a bit like liquorice. You can make a juice from tamarind fruits, which you can sweeten and drink chilled. Other fruits that are used to make cool drinks are those of the Chan plant and the myrtle.
And what do you season with?
A typical spice in Salvadoran cuisine is the alguashte (or alhuashte). It is obtained from the Ayote plant, a type of pumpkin. You roast their kernels and then chop them up. It is used to season desserts and salads or the Atole drink.
As a sweetener, one not only takes sugar, but also Panela, which is made from sugar cane juice and which is very well known in Central and South America. It is sold as a solid mass in cubes or cones. In El Salvador it is called dulce de atado, which means something like “bound sweetness”. It is still traditionally made here in sugar cane mills, the trapiches.
What is a horchata?
The word horchata is used in Spanish for all cool drinks based on mashed or crushed fruits, nuts or seeds. This can be almonds, rice, barley, pumpkin or melon seeds or, as is often the case in El Salvador, seeds of the Morro tree.