Traditional Food

Hidden Pleasures, Cuzco’s Empanadas

Chicken Filled Empanada in Cusco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Empanadas are winning ever more the palates of the people of Cuzco and visitors to the Imperial City. Various kinds of empanadas, a pasty folded over some kind of filling, are found here, though the majority of them look similar since they are made from dough.

Empanadas with fillings of beef, hotdog, chicken, or mixtas (combinations) are the classic ones found in our city. You will find them on sale in stores that offer bread or pastries, as well as in some cafes and coffee shops. There are also empanada vendors who offer their wares in the streets. These are very recognized throughout the city since they have been here for years on most major corners.

People who move through the city often enjoy these empanadas every day on their way somewhere. They are ready to eat and well displayed from 9 am. People eat them with a splash of lime-juice, or with a delicious salad made of rocoto peppers, sliced onion, and a bit of mayonnaise.

An Empanada Ready to Eat (Walter Coraza Morvlei)
An Empanada Ready to Eat (Walter Coraza Morvlei)

People general open the empanada in half to observe in this way its filling and to add the sauce or cream they wish to it. This could be mayonnaise, as we noted, the salad, or both together.

There is also a meat empanada called salteña. It carries a filling made from meat with a stew of potatoes, carrots, and meat. These are finely minced and are prepared so that the empanada is very juicy.

These empanadas are not very expensive. Those sold in stores cost the most, as much as 4/S (about 1.30$US), while those in the street only cost 1/S (about 0.33$US)

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