April 8, 2012

National Empanada Day

"The belly rules the mind." - Spanish Proverb

It's National Empanada Day!

What's in a name?

In Latin America and Spain, an empanada is a dough stuffed with meats, cheeses, or veggies that's folded into a semicircle then baked (or fried).

In Great Britain, specifically Cornwall, a pasty is, well, kind of the same thing. In Italy it's called a "calzone," and in India it's called a "samosa". The concept of stuffing dough with fillings isn't a unique-to-one-culture idea. It may have been something that arose out of necessity - a way for food to be transported with ease and kept warm - but it's now become a fun way (and clean) way to eat with our hands.

Oh, and they're all damn tasty, too.

(Taken in January, 2008 at The West Cornwall
Pasty Company in Bath, England.)

I don't think I've ever had an empanada before (maybe I did when I was in Spain, but I drank a tremendous amount of wine when I was there so, as you can imagine, there are some fuzzy memories), but I ate my weight in pasties when I lived in England. My favorite was the "pork and apple" pasty, so I decided to recreate it today. Only, y'know, sans the dead animal bit. And, because I recently discovered how f'awesome beets are (they taste like the color green) ,I also made "beet and bean" empanadas.

What flavor combinations would you put into your empanadas?

Happy National Empanada Day!