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Marian Blazes

Bolivian Salteñas

By March 17, 2010

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Bolivia is known for its special kind of empanada called a salteña.  Oddly, the salteña takes it's name from a city in Argentina (Salta), but it's definitely a Bolivian specialty. You can recognize salteñas by the repulgue (the braid-like fold that seals the filling inside) which runs across the top of the pastry instead of along the side.

There are many varieties, but in general the meat and vegetable filling in a salteña tends to be runnier and sweeter (yet spicy) than most other empanadas. They are tricky and time-consuming to prepare, with traditional recipes calling for gelatin in the filling, so most salteña fans buy them from restaurants and street food carts. Salteñas are typically enjoyed as a mid-morning snack in Bolivia.

Salteñas are often served with a plate and a spoon, but expert salteña eaters know how to enjoy them without letting the juices run down their sleeves, by kind of pouring the liquid into their mouth as they take bites.

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