Pupusas are cheap and cheerful, exceptionally hearty, stuffed and griddled disks of slaked cornmeal or rice flour that originated in El Salvador. They invariably cost less than $3 in even the most stylish restaurants, and are most likely available somewhere near you.
Rachael Narins Los Molcajetes Pupusas
We learned three very important things when sampling them across L.A. The first is that there are five standard fillings to choose from: beans, cheese, minced pork (chicharrón, which is ground pork in this case, and not fried skin), loroco (a type of vine flower) and revuelta, which consists of beans, cheese and pork. And while the beans will for sure have lard, the masa itself won't, so this is a perfect vegetarian meal if you order correctly.
Second, and really most important, is that they do not come quickly, ever, so just put that out of your mind; this isn't fast food. The third lesson is that a pupusa is an incredibly formulaic thing. Variations on the theme are nuanced at best. Every spot will serve you a plate with your pupusas, some Tapatio hot sauce, a squeeze bottle of mild pureed salsa rojo and a help-yourself container of curtido, which is a slightly pickled cabbage slaw with carrots and oregano. For our list, we obviously took in to consideration taste and then the general atmosphere of the pupuseria, the assortment of fillings offered, and the accompaniments. Turn the page.More »