If you missed it, I am on a mission to eat authentic food from every country in the world, right here in Toronto! You can find all past recaps here.
Today I am talking about El Salvador, the 17th country I’ve eaten!
You can barely see it on my map, but El Salvador is a small country in central America. Here’s a better map if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Bordered by Guatemala and Honduras. Evan and I happened to be at the Downsview Market on Saturday looking for last minute costume items for our big murder mystery party, and you can’t go to the Downsview Market without checking out the international food court. You may remember this is where I ate Colombia (Las Calenas). This time the El Salvador stall caught my eye.
Eating at the Downsview Market is not really like a regular restaurant. I think it is more like being in someone’s grandmother’s house.
In every booth there is a lady with a stove (and a fridge and a sink) cooking up traditional dishes from her country. The only way I can see it being more authentic is if you were having dinner with her family in their home. I have tried food from various places at the market (Mexico, Philippines, Colombia, Jamaica) and everything I have eaten has been very good, fresh, and authentic (as far as I can tell). If you are in the area I highly recommend dropping by. I’ll probably be back to eat the Dominican Republic.
Anyway, El Salvador. The food stall was called Pupuseria Delicias for a reason, it specialized in pupusas.
Pupusas are a a traditional Salvadoran dish with thick, handmade corn tortilla (made from cornmeal dough) and filled with either cheese, pork, or refried beans. I went for the pupusa revuelta, which included all three, cheese, pork, AND refried beans. Pupusas are typically served with curtido, lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar. Check and check!
My pupusa was delicious. I have never had it before and I loved it. The corn tortilla was thick and soft and definitely had a strong corn tortilla taste (which I liked), and the filling was almost like a nice extra. It’s similar to a Mexican gordita, but with less filling. I really enjoyed it and definitely will be eating it again!
I also got a tamale de pollo (chicken).
Tamales originated in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 to 5000 BC and are popular in Mexico, pretty much all central and south American countries, and many islands in the Caribbean. Tamales are made of masa (a starchy corn-based dough), steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables, chilies, or basically whatever.
In Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, tamales are wrapped in plantain leaves, as my one above is.
I’m not sure how I have gone through life without trying an authentic tamale, but I am happy to have finally gotten on that train. It was amazing!
Will be eating again. Hopefully soon.
So that’s El Salvador. Quick and easy and SO GOOD!