Wednesday 4 October 2023

Tasting our way through Santa Cruz's markets

The delicacies of Mercado Nuevo in Santa Cruz and the smell of frying empanadas! What a joy that was!

Santa Cruz is the largest city in Bolivia, and very lively, so you can imagine the bustle of its markets. From children playing tag in between the shops and restaurants to busy empanada-makers, Nuevo Mercado has a giant range of daytime inhabitants!

There were many empanada-makers moving quickly and efficiently to roll out the pastry, ladder in the filling, then fold and shape the empanadas before frying them in deep pans. For those of you who haven't tried them, empanada is a South American pastry with a filling of anything you choose, but most commonly cheese, chicken or meat. In Bolivia, they also call them saltenas which are usually bigger with more filling.

We tried two different empanadas from two different shops: one fried the empanadas and the other one baked them in the oven. My preferred one was the one with meat and potatoes inside because it had a stronger flavour. Ismene liked the one with the chicken in.

I am sure that we will have many more empanadas in our journey so the quest for the best empanada is on!

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