A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz, a cornmeal dough used in Mesoamerican cuisine) that is usually filled with a blend of the following:
- cheese (queso, usually a soft cheese called quesillo found throughout Central America)
- cooked and seasoned pork meat ground to a paste consistency (called chicharrón, not to be confused with fried pork rind, which is also known as chicharrón in some other countries)
- refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America).
The two most common pupusas are the pupusa de quesillo (cheese) and more popular pupusa revuelta with mixed ingredients of cheese, beans, and chicharrón. Pupusas are typically served with curtido (lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar).
When I moved to Lake Atitlan four years ago I was introduced to pupusas and instantly fell in love with them at first bite when the cheese oozed out and tantalized my taste buds. They were filling, hearty, and oh so flavorful. So much to my delight, I was thrilled to see that a new pupusaria opened in Jucanya, Lake Atitlan.
Pupuseria Rinconcito Salvadoreño is located right across the Friendship Bridge on the left side of the road as you drive into Jucanya. If you are walking or driving from the Panajachel, you can see it on the road just on the other side of the Bridge. It’s painted a bright orange color and is hard to miss.
Panajachel Salvadorean Pupusas
Pupusas are a traditional dish from El Salvador made with corn masa and stuffed with a salty cheese, refried beans, chopped pork, vegetables, or chicharrones. The filling is encased in a thin layer of masa dough, shaped entirely by hand and flattened like a thick pancake and cooked on a hot lighted greased griddle until the exterior becomes nicely toasted or golden brown.
Pupusas are served to you on a plate with a side of pickled cabbage, carrot, and jalapeño slaw called curtido and a thin tomato salsa call salsa roja that cuts through the richness of the filling, adds a tangy element, and a crunchy addition to the already tasty pupusa.
While every flavor of pupusa is extraordinary, I love the combination of ingredients in the pupusas revueltas of cheese, refried beans, and chicarron.
The food is delicious, service is fast and friendly, with great prices and easy-going atmosphere. They are open evenings only.