Thursday, February 23, 2023

Other Street Foods ...

There are other street foods made with tortillas. Tostadas are flat hard tortillas either fried or dried on which are placed a variety of toppings such as shredded chicken, pork, beef, seafood, cheese and salsa. Quesadillas are derived from the Spanish word for cheese, queso, and refer to a tortilla folded in half and filled with cheese and possibly other ingredients such as spicy meat, mushrooms, chili pepper strips and more. The type of cheese used generally varies by region and in some areas, cheese is not even used unless requested. Empalmes are three stacked corn tortillas with beans, some kind of meat or stew which are typical in the state of Nuevo León. Known as "sincronizadas", the Spanish word for synchronized, are two corn tortillas with a meat and cheese filling then toasted on each side until the cheese melts. "Gringas", as the slang word for people with lighter skin tones, are similar to quesadillas or sincronizadas but made with flour tortilla, hence the name. Tlayudas are large dried tortillas topped with beans and other ingredients similar to a pizza or large tostada popular in the state of Oaxaca.

There are street foods that use the same corn dough used to make tortillas, but in different preparations. Gorditas can be found in almost all parts of the country. They are very thick corn dough patties fried in oil or cooked on a comal (a traditional griddle). After cooking, they are split and filled with a variety of ingredients. There is a flour dough version of this in Coahuila. Bocoles are small round gorditas popular in Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosí. After cooking they are split and filled with ingredients such as cheese, picadillo, salsa, beans or cooked eggs. Empedradas is triangular pieces of blue corn dough mixed with chickpeas and then cooked on a comal popular in Tlaxcala. Garnachas are thick tortillas similar to gorditas split and filled with shredded pork and diced onion. On top is placed salsa, cheese, and a vinegar and chili pepper sauce. Memelas, also called picadas, are long thick tortillas made of corn dough mixed with fried pork rind and salsa. They are cooked on a comal and then topped with tomato sauce and chopped lettuce or cabbage. Tlacoyos are the most popular in Mexico City. They are elongated and usually made with blue corn dough which is filled with a paste made of beans before being cooked on a comal.

Chalupas are small tortilla-like cups of fried corn dough filled with cheese, beans or a variety of stews topped with salsa and chopped lettuce. They are most popular in Puebla. Similarly, chilapas are tortilla cups fried crispy in the form of a cup and then filled with shredded meat, salsa, cream, avocado, chili peppers and chopped lettuce and onion. They are a specialty of Chilapa, Guerrero. Huaraches are similarly large and flat and topped with chopped or shredded meat, and any of the following: beans, cheese, cream and salsa. Sopes are also flat and thick but in disk form, pinched on the edges then topped with beans, salsa and more.

Elote refers to fresh corn (maize) which is served on the cob or cut kernels. If on the cob is it either grilled or boiled then coated with mayonnaise and dusted with any of the following: chili pepper, salt, cotija cheese, lime juice and hot sauce. The cut kernels are usually served in a dish called esquites, where similar seasoning is mixed in and it is eaten with a spoon. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also be had as street food. Fruit cups are popular and vary depending on the season. They usually contain one or more of the following, watermelon, papaya, mango, orange, jicama and cucumber. These are cut into slender spears or cubes with lime juice, salt and chili pepper powder added. Jicama is a root vegetable that is popularly eaten raw. It can be eaten in strips or chunks as part of a salad or fruit cup. A jicaleta is a large slice of vegetable placed on a stick to look like a large lollipop. It can be eaten plain like this, or it can then be covered with a choice of sweet or savory flavored powders, hot sauce, lime juice and more.

The Spanish and later the French introduced a variety of wheat breads which have been adapted into a variety of street foods. Tortas are rolls that are cut to make thick sandwiches with various fillings. These include refried beans, cheese, various hot meats such as breaded chicken or pork, carnitas, egg and more or with cold cuts, along with avocado, onions and pickled jalapeños. Tortas can be found in cold or warm varieties. The first is usually found at public transport stops or in front of schools. In Puebla, a similar sandwich is called a cemita, named after the style of bread used to make it. Molotes are a type of torta, bread with a filing and salsa which varies by region. In Hidalgo, they are cylindrical and filled with chicken, cheese or beef. In Oaxaca, they are filled with chorizo sausage and potatoes and in Tlaxcala, they are shaped like a pointed oval. Pambazos are small tortas filled with various ingredients, with salsa covering the filling (in Veracruz) or coating the bread (in Mexico City). In the Yucatán, small tortas are called salbutes which are heated on comals, and filled with tomatoes, cabbage, onions and meat. Another European derived dish is the empanada, which is flour or sometimes corn flour turnovers that enclose a filling and is baked. In Hidalgo, they are called "pastes" after the English word "pasty".

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3334 N. Texas Street, Suite B
Fairfield, CA 94533

2040 Harbison Drive, Suite F
Vacaville, CA 95688

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