(Photo by cheeseweese)
When one thinks of local Argentine food there are two immediate images that come to mind; one is ‘asado’ and the other, the empanada.
However, as almost everything local, the delectable empanada was not born in Argentina but brought here by the Spanish. The Spanish in turn had incorporated these delicacies from the Arabs. who prepared them with lamb, bulgur and spices and called them ‘esfigha’ and ‘fatay’. Further back, the empanada can be traced to the Greeks who had come up with phillo dough and to what was once Persia, where there was a similar dish centuries before Christ.
In Latin America this tasty pastry filled with different combinations of meats and vegetables became very popular and in Argentina it acquired its own identity with regional variations. In Salta for example, the meat filling is cut in cubes and previously boiled, then mixed with potato, egg, scallion, cumin and cayenne pepper. In Tucuman they incorporate raisins to the filling whilst in Cordoba they are coated with egg and sugar. This way each place makes its own variation imprinting it with the local identity.
More information on where to try the best empanadas in Buenos Aires here.
To make your own, we suggest you try our chef Hernán Gipponi´s recipe for rabbit empanadas, available here. (Don´t forget to order some while you´re at the hotel!)