National Empanada Day

Events, Food — By Susan Vincil on April 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

In the United States, April 8th is National Empanada Day.  Empanadas are delicious pastries that are typically stuffed with meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables, but you can also find empanadas filled with fruit.  They are commonly found throughout Mexico, although the food originated around 500 years ago, in Spain.

Making empanadas is simple.  You just make the dough, roll it out, and cut out circles to fill with meat, vegetables, or fruit.

Step 1 in empanada making: Cut out the pieces of dough | Photo by flickr user joannapoe


Then, you place the empanada filling on the pieces of dough.

Step 2: Place filling on pieces of dough | Photo by flickr user joannapoe

And then you simply fold over the dough and pinch the edges together, to seal the contents inside of the pocket.  You can seal the edges by hand or use an empanada maker, like the one shown in the photo below.

Step 3: Fold over dough and seal along the edges. | Photo by flickr user joannapoe


Empanadas can be either baked or deep-fried.  In Cancun, empanadas are usually served plain (no toppings) but, the food stands in El Parque de las Palapas (in downtown Cancun) give you the option to have lettuce, grated cheese, cream, and salsas on top.  The toppings make it impossible to eat the empanadas by hand but it’s worth the extra effort of using a knife and fork.

Finished empanadas look like this:


Empanadas | Photo by flickr user Jules: stonesoup

and this:

More fresh empanadas | Photo by flickr user ci_polla

You can also find empanadas that look like this in some places, but my personal favorites are the type shown above.

Another type of empanada | Photo by flickr user edans


Regardless of which style you prefer, enjoy some tasty empanadas on National Empanada Day.  Too bad National Empanada Day and National Margarita Day don’t share the same date.  That would be an unbeatable combination.


Tags: cancun, mexican cuisine, national empanada day, street food