We're stuffed! Empanadas, arepas and (almost) everything else in between.
From the East Village to outer Queens, new taquerias—and the people who talk about them—are just about everywhere in New York right now. Translation: Hola, trend alert! But with apologies to the venerable taco trucks of Sunset Park and Roosevelt Avenue, let's not forget that Latin American deliciousness has long pervaded our fair city in small, stuffed, decidedly non-taco-shaped packages.
We're talking about the savory Latin snacks of yore—the empanadas, croquetas, pupusas and arepas that quietly preceded the taco wars of 2009. We'll call them pastries (because we want to), though they sometimes more closely resemble grilled cakes.
Fried or baked, generally filled, and always satisfying, these foods are those unsung heroes often relegated to the appetizer part of any menu. Well, no more: From forbidden Cuba to the long tail of Chile, we've traveled the city via Latin American pastry to shine the spotlight on some favorites and explain their distinctly tasty traits. You'll never again confuse a Colombian empanada from an Argentinean one.
By Laura Siciliano-Rosen; photos by Scott Rosen
Pictured: Pampa's Argentinean empanada