Where Mexico has its tacos, El Salvador has its pupusas. At El Salvador Restaurant, the pupusas are cheap, big, and made fresh by hand. Place an order and a minute later you'll start hearing the rhythmic slapping as the lady in the kitchen starts flattening out a ball of corn masa stuffed with cheese and finely chopped chicharrones into a wide, flat disk before slipping it onto a hot griddle. Just like with good grilled cheese, the key here is low, slow heat so that the interior fillings melt completely just as the exterior becomes nicely toasted. Like wide, flat hot pockets, if you will, only much, much better.
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In the misty volcanoes of western El Salvador is a little town called Juayúa. Show up on a weekday and you'll see some interesting murals and a few picturesque buildings and you'll think it's a pleasant enough but rather sleepy place. Show up on a weekend, however, and you'll find the madre of all Central American food festivals. Papas fritas, pupusas, tortas, iguana (!) and more bites!
The ideas of cooperative work are central to many movements in Latin America. Nelson Escobar brought these ideas from his home in El Salvador to Louisville, Kentucky, where he coordinates a large urban farm that brings together a diverse community to grow, eat, and sell good food. Watch this video to see the inspiring story.