A “Pupusa”(POO POO ZAH) is a thick, handmade corn tortilla stuffed with queso (cheese – usually a soft cheese called Quesillo), chicharrón (fried pork cracklings) or frijoles refritos (refried beans). There is also the pupusa “revuelta” which is stuffed with mixed ingredients, such as queso, frijoles refritos and chicharrón.
Pupusas were first created by the Pipil Tribe which dwelled in the territory which is now known as El Salvador. Archeological remains have been found showing pupusas were prepared almost 2,000 years ago! Preparation instruments have also been found in many other archaeological sites in El Salvador.
As the Salvadorean population grew, “Pupuserías” or pupusas stands started to proliferate in the 1960s across the country and in the neighboring areas of Honduras and Guatemala. Pupuserías are typically a neighborhood hangout where family and friends gather to eat an informal meal.
The civil war, of the 1980s, forced a large Salvadorean migration to foreign countries. As a result, pupusas became widely available in the United States, Australia, Spain and wherever a Salvadorean community could be found. In the US, immigrants have brought the dish to Florida, New York, Maryland, Texas, Oregon and Louisiana, to name a few. Both at home and abroad, pupusas are traditionally served with curtido (a “pickled” cabbage relish, that sometimes include hot peppers) and are traditionally eaten by hand.