S. American Amigos


Empanadas are widely thought to have been brought to Argentina from Galicia, Spain, but it was the gauchos who first began incorporating empanadas into their diets. Empanadas can be baked or fried, but Argentinean tradition dictates the latter. Every household in Argentina has its own special recipe for the empanada filling. The fillings also tend to vary from region to region, with some being sweet and others spicy. The most common fillings are ground meat, raisins, olives and onions seasoned with pepper, paprika and cumin. Another popular filling is a creamy mixture of corn, cheese, nutmeg, and thick white sauce and is known as the empanada de humita.

In restaurants where several types are served, a repulgue, or pattern, is added to the pastry fold to distinguish the filling.

Salteñas are Bolivia's version of empanadas, and is the country's most popular snack. The salteña is spicy, and is filled with a mixture of chopped chicken or meat, potatoes, raisins, olives, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and spices. The shells are sometimes sweetened by sugar or seasoned with red pepper or other spices.

Empadinhas or empadas are Brazil's national appetizer. An empada or empadinha is a small pie, which has various fillings like carne (meat), palmito (palm heart) or camarão (shrimp). Brazilian empanadas are always baked and either come as pieces of empadão (a large pie) or empadinha which is baked in a small muffin tin.

Pastels have a dought that is similar to the empanada but are rectangular in shape and fried.

Esfira, brought to Brazil by Arab immigrants is a baked bread dough that is triangle shaped and filled with spiced meat.

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Empanadas in Uruguay are very similar to those found in Argentina and are generally made out of wheat flour and are either fried or baked. They are usually filled wih meat, olives, eggs, and carrots.

The Venezuelan empanadas are made of corn flour dough and are deep-fried. In addition to the standard cheese and beef fillings, the coastal areas offer empanadas stuffed with fish and other seafood.

Chilean empanadas are wheat-flour-based pastries (baked or fried), stuffed with a variety of fillings. An empanada in Chile can be either baked or fried but the baked ones are much larger than the fried ones. The original and most commonly eaten empanada remains the oven-baked empanada de pino. The “pino” filling is made with ground beef spiced with cumin, onions, a boiled egg, olives and raisins. Fried empanadas containing prawns and cheese are a favourite dish of coastal areas.

In Colombia the empanadas are made with cornmeal, fried to a crisp, and served with spicy sauces like Aji (a sauce made of cilantro, green onions, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice). The standard fillings include beef, boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and peas.

Empanadas are a common snack item, popular throughout Ecuador.

Empanadas de morocho: A delicious small pie stuffed with pork meat and fried, served with hot sauce.

Empanadas de verde: A pie of green plantain, filled with cheese or meat.

Empanadas de viento: An airy plate-sized empanada of white flour dough with a cheese filling and a dash of sugar sprinkled on top.

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