El Salvador: Who Ate My Pupusa?

by Piotr Buraczewski February. 20, 2021 560 views

The border official at San Salvador airport was excited to see a tourist from a non-Spanish speaking world. With a smile on his face he asked if I was going to check on pueblos or playas and if I had ever eaten a... pupusa. I blushed. "Pupusa" sounds like a Polish word that depicts buttocks in a very affectionate way... What an interesting start of Easter holidays.

A hearty breakfast of refried beans, eggs, avocado and salads with izote, a national flower of El Salvador, kept me going for a good couple of hours. Tortillas, lots of tortillas served with wonderful salsas made the rest of my daily culinary routine. Well, how about a pupusa?

The Salvadoreans are passionate about their food. Tasty bites are available in the smallest street of a smallest village. For a boy that comes from fitness obsessed environment, it became quite obvious to me that an average energy intake per Salvadorean per day far exceeded two thousand kilocalories. But what is a pupusa and where can I eat one?

There it is: griddle cake made with cornmeal or rice flour stuffed with mouthwatering cheese, refried beans, chopped pork, you name it. It is accompanied by tomato salsa and spicy cabbage slaw. Eat two and your stomach is full. Eat three and you are just about to burst. Six pieces lay on my plate. I cannot believe people around me had more than that. Could someone take mine?...

Pupusa is declared a national dish of El Salvador. However tasty, it is heavy, very heavy on the stomach. Fear no evil, though. Countless chemist shops are open until late and an army of handsome pharmacists will gladly provide OTC remedies for indigestion.

There is an alternative for the ones concerned about excessive intake of starch and fat: fruit juices. Freshly squeezed from the fruit of your choice, they are full of vitamins, other goodness and available from street vendors all over the country. Smoothies made of artificially ripened tropical fruit-like products in Europe are a far cry from the divinity served in El Salvador.

Picture on the left provided by courtesy of Peter Paul Rubens

Picture on the left provided by courtesy of Peter Paul Rubens

Eating a pupusa proved to be nothing to blush about. On the contrary, it was a good way to socialize with friendly locals. I have reasons to believe that pupusas add to the charm and quite "Flemish baroque" looks of the Salvadoreans.

And here is the map:

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There are 20 comments , add yours!
Steveandjustyna 1 month, 1 week ago

LOL! Great introduction to El Salvadorean cuisine art! The Pupusans are making our mouths water! 

Thanks for the hilarious photo-report - it put a big smile on our faces smile

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Steveandjustyna 1 month ago

Pupusas are nice but a good old fillet steak is soooo much better. It is the name that I found... irresistible... 😁

1 month ago Edited
Olga Helys 1 month, 2 weeks ago


1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Olga Helys 1 month ago

Thanks, Olga. Visit my blog, more pictures to come. 😁

1 month ago Edited
Chuck Staruch 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Now I am hungry!  Great photoblog as usual!! The facial expressions are wonderful.

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Chuck Staruch 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Chuck. The Salvadoreans are very friendly.

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 month, 4 weeks ago

As always your posts are eye candy. Love how you ended the series with photo #7. Pupusa almost sounds like quesadillas that are made around here except for the dough being a tad thicker than the flour tortilla.

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Camellia Staab 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hi Camellia, thanks a lot! I think pupusas and quesadillas are similar. Here, so far from Latin America, all that looks pancakey flat and is made of corn flour we call tortillas. At least simple people such as myself. I am not much of a gourment. I stick to taking pictures. 😁

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 1 month, 3 weeks ago

And I for one am happy you stick to taking pictures smile

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Camellia Staab 1 month, 3 weeks ago


1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith 1 month, 4 weeks ago

One day when my wife is feeling adventurous I want to take her to a local restaurant that sells Pupusa

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Russell Smith 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hi Russell, while the name sounded so funny to me, pupusas would probably not win a Michelin star. I would love to eat a real American burger, not its weak European imitation.

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Now I have to try one. I went to Costa Rica (my next travel photos to be posted here) but no Pupusa there 😊

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Antonio Gil 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hi Antonio, Looking forward to seeing your pics from Costa Rica. I heard it was amazingly colourful. Some of my friends are there now. Apparently, one can travel there withour problems.

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Krystyna Knypl 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Rewelacyjne klimaty! Gratulacje! Jeśli chodzi o tamtą część świata dotarłam do Cancun i Chichen Itza, podczas wycieczki do piramid poznałam pewną Amerykankę... więcej pod linkiem do porannej kawy
Pozdrawiam serdecznie!

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Krystyna Knypl 1 month, 4 weeks ago

I found your blog entry very interesting, but I am now wondering why you are not practicing your English here smile

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Krystyna Knypl Replied to Camellia Staab 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Camellia Staab

Thank you for visiting my photoblog and, I guess, reading
the article how I learned English. I am still learning! It's a never ending
story if it's not your native language.

I use English less on my photoblog because the photos speak
for themselves, but in other places I write in English, such examples







Warm greetings from Poland, @mimax 2 / Krystyna Knypl

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Krystyna Knypl 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Super historia z Pani angielskim! U mnie w domu matematyka i angielski były oczkiem w głowie Taty, więc przeszkolenie, włączając w to rzecz jasna „Szkołę Metodystów”, otrzymałem dosyć wcześnie. Jak tylko skończył się w Polsce komunizm, wyjechałem uczyć się w Szkocji, wróciłem, wyjechałem na autostop do Australii, wróciłem i dalej poszło gładko.

W Chichen Itza bardzo mi się podobało. Zwłaszcza jogging po schodach piramidy: góra-dół i na zmianę. W 1994 jeździłem trochę po Meksyku i Gwatemali, głównie autostopem (z kasą było baaaaaardzo krucho). Z Cancun wiele nie pamiętam, bo jak opiłem się coli z Bacardi, to był Meksyk...

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Your posts never fail to put a smile on my face. How do you get around language barriers when you travel? I was in Guatemala once for work, and people outside the hotel speak no English at all, and I know next to zero Spanish. Eating out in a restaurant was a struggle. I was constantly using Google Translate on my phone which became my best friend.

1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Benny Law 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hi Benny, Thanks a lot. Never failing to put a smile on one’s face is important, even more as we are all masked and locked down at the moment.

I can speak several languages at a survival level. This includes Spanish. Its pronounciation (especially South American Spanish) and grammar are relatively easy. Google Translate is not bad, though.

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
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