|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.
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.
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.
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.
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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