Salvadoran cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of El Salvador. The traditional cuisine consists of food from the Maya, Lenca, Pipil, and Spanish peoples. Many of the dishes are made with maize (corn).
El Salvador's most notable dish is the pupusa, a thick handmade corn flour or rice flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, chicharrón (cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency), refried beans, and/or loroco (a vine flower bud native to Central America). There are also vegetarian options, often with ayote (a type of squash), or garlic. Some adventurous restaurants even offer pupusas stuffed with shrimp or spinach.
Two other typical Salvadoran dishes are yuca frita and panes rellenos. Yuca frita, which is deep fried cassava root served with curtido (a pickled cabbage, onion and carrot topping) and chicharron with pepesca (fried baby sardines). The Yuca is sometimes served boiled instead of fried. Panes Rellenos ("Stuffed Bread") are warm submarine sandwiches. The turkey or chicken is marinated and then roasted with Pipil spices and handpulled. This sandwich is traditionally served with turkey or chicken, tomato, and watercress along with cucumber, onion, lettuce, mayonnaise, and mustard.
Soups and salad
Soups are popular among Salvadorans of every social level. Sopa de pata is a soup made from the tripes of a cow, plantain, corn, tomatoes, cabbage and spices, locally a delicacy. Gallo en chicha is a soup made with rooster, corn, and dulce de tapa and sometimes other things.
Panes Rellenos (filled bread) is a warm chicken or turkey submarine sandwich, similar to a hoagie. The chicken/turkey is marinated and then roasted with Pipil spices and hand-pulled. This sandwich is traditionally served with tomatoes, and watercress.
Salvadorean desserts include pan dulce, semita, Salvadorean-style quesadilla, torta de yema, marquezote, salpores, poleada (vanilla custard), arroz en leche (rice pudding), atol de elote, atol de piña, empanadas de platano (plantain patties), and many others. The dulce de leche of El Salvador has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. Fruits are widely consumed, the more popular being mangoes, papayas, and bananas. Sometimes they enjoy fruit with ice cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Teenagers usually drink gaseosas or sodas (soft drinks) like Coca-cola, while young and old alike drink coffee, El Salvador's top export. A very popular soda that originated in El Salvador is Kolachampan, which is a soda with sugar cane flavor. Minutas, shaved ice flavored with fruit flavored syrup, and horchata, mix of spices such as cinnamon, peanuts, ajonjolí (sesame seed) and morro, are popular throughout the country and enjoyed on a hot day. Licuados are like the minutas with added fresh fruit and (sometimes) milk. Refrescos refer to lemonade or other sweetened fruit drinks. Other drinks include Arrayán, Shuco and Chilate. Another popular beverage is Ensalada (salad), made of pineapple juice with finely chopped fruits, usually apples, marañón, mamey, and watercress. Tamarindo juice is consumed in all of El Salvador. Coconuts are sold at roadside estansas throughout the country. Typically, they are chopped with machetes and a straw is inserted so that the coconut water can be consumed. Adults drink coconut milk, mixed with vodka, as an aperitif.
The most common alcoholic beverage is beer (cerveza); in El Salvador the most popular brand name is Pilsener. Suprema is considered the premier local brew. Both and other popular beers are made by Industrias La Constancia.
Salvadorans eat a big variety of seafood. Salvadoran cocktails and ceviches are made with clam, oyster, fish, shrimp, snail, octopus, squid, and a type of black clam called conchas (English: Shells) by locals and cocktails and ceviches are prepared with a type of tomato and chopped onion sauce or a dark sauce called Salsa (sauce) Perring and both are spinkled with lemon juice. Salvadorans also eat fried crabs and lobsters and fried fish with garlic and lemon. Shrimp are also eaten roasted, al ajillo (aal-aheejo: means in garlic), and in butter. There is also a type of seafood soup called mariscada (maareescaadaa) which contains fish, clam, octopus, squid (sometimes), shrimp, and crab.
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