El Salvador National Dish – What to eat in El Salvador

El Salvador food and drink is particularly distinctive among the diverse dishes of Central America. The result of a combination of indigenous and Spanish influences, El Salvador food can be as familiar as chicken soup or as fried palm blossoms. Follow the menus below for El Salvador recipes and other details on the cuisine! 

Main Meals

Because El Salvador has an extensive coastline, seafood is a common ingredient in El Salvadoran dishes. Soups and stews are very popular in the country. The staple foods are corn and beans. There are also fresh vegetables and fruits such as potatoes, yucca, carrots, onions, leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, plantains, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, guavas and nance fruits.

The pupusa is considered the national dish of El Salvador. It’s a tortilla with a baked filling. The tortilla consists of corn flour (of rice flour), the filling is usually made of beans, cheese or a combination of both. Variants can also be filled with pumpkin, garlic, spinach, loroco, fish, chicken, shrimp or pork belly. Pupusas are usually served with curtido, a pickled slaw with chili, and a tomato sauce and are usually eaten with your fingers.

El Salvador National Dish - What to eat in El Salvador
El Salvador National Dish – What to eat in El Salvador

A national holiday has been dedicated to El Salvador’s dish for 17 years, the Día Nacional de las Pupusas takes place on the second Sunday in November each year. Other Salvadorian specialties include tamales (meat or poultry stuffed in a corn dough and cooked in a sheet), ceviche (raw marinated fish, also with shrimp), sopa de frijoles (red or black bean soup) and chicken with sautéed onions.

The most common meat sources are poultry (chicken) and pork; crispy fried pork rinds are very trendy. Beef is only served on specific occasions. Fish is usually breaded and fried. Mariscada (seafood in a sauce) is a well known dish too. In El Salvador there are numerous different cream cheeses such as Queso Fresco for example. The Salvadoran sour cream is particularly juicy and delicious with a slightly yellowish color, a creamy consistency and a nice taste.

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