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|Region or state||Spain|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
|Main ingredients||Meat, cheese, corn, or other ingredients|
An empanada is a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling, common in Latin American and Filipino cultures. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, and literally translates as "enbreaded", that is, wrapped or coated in bread. They are made by folding dough over a filling, which may consist of meat, cheese, corn, or other ingredients, and then cooking the resulting turnover, either by baking or frying.
Empanadas trace back their origins to the northwest region of Spain, Galicia. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520, Llibre del Coch by Robert de Nola, mentions empanadas filled with seafood in the recipes for Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food.
By country and region
Argentine empanadas are often served during parties and festivals as a starter or main course. Shops specialize in freshly made empanadas, with many flavors and fillings.
The dough is made with wheat flour and beef drippings for the fillings which differs from province to province. Some places use chicken, and some places beef (cubed or ground depending on the region) spiced with cumin and paprika. Some other fillings are onion, boiled egg, olives, or raisins. Empanadas can be baked or fried. It also can contain ham, fish, humita (sweetcorn with white sauce), or spinach; a fruit filling is used to create a dessert empanada. For the interior regions, they can be spiced with peppers.
In those places (usually take-out shops) where several types are served, a repulgue, or pattern, is added to the pastry fold to distinguish the varieties (although it is more common nowadays to burn a letter – an abbreviated indication of the filling – into the dough). In larger cities, empanadas are eaten more as take-away food, sourced from restaurants specializing in this dish. They usually carry dozens of different varieties, which is not the case in northern provinces, where empanadas are usually made at home, with more traditional recipes.
- Media related to Empanadas of Argentina at Wikimedia Commons
Empanadas are known as kushli pitha in Bangladesh. The most common stuffing is coconut and jaggery spiced with cinnamon. They are generally eaten as snacks during tea time.
In Belize, empanadas are known as panades. They are made with masa (corn dough) and typically stuffed with fish, chicken, or beans. They are usually deep fried and served with a cabbage or salsa topping. Panades are frequently sold as street food.
Cape Verde cuisine features the pastel, as well. Cape Verdean pastéis are often filled with spicy tuna fish. One particular variety, the pastel com o diabo dentro (literally: Pastel with the devil within), is particularly spicy, and is made with a dough made from sweet potatoes and cornmeal.
The empanada is considered the most symbolic food of the country. Salvador Allende, the President of Chile from 1970 to 1973, emphasized the national character of his political project saying that it would be a "revolution with the flavor of red wine, and the scent of an empanada".
- Media related to Empanadas of Chile at Wikimedia Commons
Filipino empanadas usually contain ground beef, pork or chicken, potatoes, chopped onions, and raisins (somewhat similar to the Cuban picadillo) in a somewhat sweet, wheat flour bread. There are two kinds available: the baked sort and the flaky fried type. To lower costs, potatoes are often added as an extender, while another filling is kutsay, or garlic chives (kutsay in Cebuano and Tagalog; 韭菜 kú-chhài in Lan-nang).
Empanadas in the northern part of the Ilocos are different. These usually have savoury fillings of green papaya, mung beans, and sometimes chopped Ilocano sausage (chorizo) or longaniza and egg yolk. There have also been people who make empanada filled with mashed eggplant and cabbage, which they call poqui poqui.
- Media related to Empanadas of the Philippines at Wikimedia Commons
The 'Mpanatigghi are stuffed, consisting of halfmoon-shaped panzarotti filled with a mixture of almonds, walnuts, chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and minced beef. These are typical of Modica, in the province of Ragusa, Sicily. They are also known as impanatiglie or dolce di carne (pasty of meat).
They were probably introduced by the Spaniards during their rule in Sicily which took place in the sixteenth century; this is suggested from the etymology of the name which comes from the Spanish "empanadas or empanadillas" (empanada), as well as from the somewhat unusual combination of meat and chocolate, which occurs several times in the Spanish cuisine. In past centuries for the preparation of 'mpanatigghi game meat was used but today beef is used.
Empanadas, mainly based on South American recipes, are widely available in New York City, New Jersey, and Miami from food carts, food trucks, and restaurants. Empanadas are usually found in U.S. areas with a large Hispanic population, like San Antonio and Los Angeles.
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- Penelope Casas (1982), The Food, Wines, and Cheeses of Spain, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1982 (p. 52)
- "Breve historia de la alimentación en Argentina". Liliana Agrasar. Retrieved 8 July 2010. They first appeared in medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions.
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- "Belizean Food". Belize.com. ITM Ltd. Archived from the original on 2015-12-02. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- Kraig, Bruce; Sen, Colleen Taylor, eds. (2013). Street Food Around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-59884-954-7.
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- Ian Ocampo Flora (April 23, 2010). "Vigan Empanada and the gastronomic treats of Ilocos". www.sunstar.com.ph. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- News, Ria Galiste, ABS-CBN. "Look: Restaurant adds twist to Ilocos empanada". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
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- "10 Spots To Score Excellent Empanadas In NYC" Archived 2016-07-08 at the Wayback Machine by Angely Mercado, Gothamist, 13 October 2014;
"NYC Food Truck Lunch: Empanadas From La Sonrisa Empanadas" by Perry R., CBS New York, 9 October 2015
- "The 15 Best Places for Empanadas in San Antonio". FourSquare. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Rice, Janae. "Finding Empanadas in SA". San Antonio Current. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Chabala, Tracy. "5 Great Baked Empanadas in Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved January 4, 2017.