Saturday, November 11, 2006

Pupusas Manana

In July I announced that I was on the lookout for underground foods. I read stories about New York and foreign street food vendors and my mouth waters. Yes we have local street food here in Marin. The food stalls at the farmers market provide some tasty bites but I’m still looking for that “underground experience”.

The food gods work in strange and mysterious ways. Roberto, the maintenance manager at my work asked if I would like to try a pupusa made by his aunt. Of course I said yes. Heavens to Betsy these are good! Hot, filled with pork, cheese and topped with curdito (spicy cabbage salad) these little Salvadoran beauties are the best I’ve tasted. May I have some more kind sir? His aunt does make these to sell on occasion and Roberto will let me know when the next batch will be available. It comes to light that I, in fact, know his aunt. Her name is Vincenta and she normally works the swing shift cleaning offices. Every now and again when the day person calls off Vincenta fills in.

Well this is my lucky day. Vincenta is a charming woman who speaks little English. In El Salvador she worked in a Pupuseria and made piles of pupusas each day. Now she makes them about once a month to earn a little side money. With my culinary Spanish and little help from a translator I found that the addition of rice flour to the corn flour is the secret to the extraordinary lightness of these pupusas. It is an all day process to prepare the product. Shopping, preparing, cooking and packaging are labor intensive. The final product arrives wrapped in foil warm from the griddle. Packed in a separate plastic bag is the essential curdito. The office is filled with the delicious scent of corn. I always order 20 so I will have leftovers for a few days. They microwave nicely. Now when Vincenta arrives and says "Pupusas Manana" I reach for my wallet and anticipate tomorrows dinner.
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cookiecrumb said...

Oh, good lord. No wonder she only makes them once a month. Just beautiful.
Cute pic, too!

drbiggles said...

Sheet fire man! Pupusas are a wonder from heaven. Or from Vincenta, whichever comes first.

Richmond with filthy with those suckers. Oddly enough one of the best in the city has rumored to have opened up a second Pupuseria within walking distance of Meathenge Labs. I'll need to stick my head in there to see what the deal is.


ps - Pepitos Deli is worth a trip from your homestead.