Shelley Ottenbrite embraces many aspects of Latin American culture, from the tango in Argentina to pupusas in El Salvador. Shelley Ottenbrite enjoys pupusas, a popular part of traditional Salvadoran food. The dish is made from thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, pork, squash, refried beans, or the flower bud loroco. Pupusas are commonly served with a vinegar cabbage slaw known as curtido and a tomato salsa.
Shelley Ottenbrite appreciates the history of pupusas. The Pipil tribe created pupusas hundreds of years ago with cooking utensils and instruments recently discovered in the archeological remains of a small village buried in ash during a volcano explosion. Shelley Ottenbrite is a devotee of pupusas, which became popular as residents of central towns began to migrate throughout the country, particularly in neighboring Honduras and Guatemala. The Salvadorian civil war of the 1980s forced the citizens to escape their home country, leading many of them to the United States.
As the pupusa transitioned outside of El Salvador, other cultures began to influence different styles of the dish. In Mexico, the gordita features many of the same ingredients while varying its shape. In Venezuela, an arepa’s dough is cooked separately from the stuffing. El Salvador also offers a dish similar to the pupusa, using rice instead of corn to make the dough. Shelley Ottenbrite remains a fan of pupusas. They have become extremely popular in Florida, Texas, New York, California, and New Mexico, as well as in Shelley Ottenbrite’s home state of Virginia.