National Empanada Day:
Celebrated annually on April 8th, the National Empanada Day honors one of the most delicious pastries – the Empanadas! The amazing part is that the Empanadas come in different forms and flavors making them ideal for sweet tooths and savory lovers!
Why Empanada Day?
Empanadas could seem like a contemporary concept, but evidence points their origin story to ancient Persia dating 100 B.C.
The word “Empanada” is derived from the Spanish, Portuguese and Galician verb “em pandar”, meaning “to coat in bread” or “to wrap in bread”.
They are made by simply folding the dough around the choice stuffing before being baked or fried. Just like hand pies, the Empanadas offer you a variety of choices! You could have your stuffing made of nuts, vegetables, meat, fruits, cheese, and any other ingredients of your choice! Did you know? The Libre del Coch, a cookbook published by Ruperto de Nola in 1520 mentions Empanadas with seafood filling?!
If you haven’t had Empanada before, its various flavors and shapes made in the US alone can astonish you! You could find different types and styles of them in every state you visit! In the southern and the southwestern states, you can find it by the name “Creole Empanada ”, where it is eaten as a savory meal! Usually, the stuffing consists of seasoned chicken, beef, or pork with cheese.
When you visit the southeastern parts of the US, the Empanadas take a sweeter form. They are stuffed with fresh or dried fruits, i.e. usually peaches, apples, apricots, or sweet potatoes. Once fried or baked, you can enjoy the crispy shells on the outside and the piping hot fruit stuffing on the inside!
In the western states of the US such as New Mexico, making empanadas is a Christmas tradition! The stuffing consists of sweetmeats made of ground pork, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, pinion nuts, and nutmeg. The tortilla-like dough is rolled out, and the stuffing is placed on one half of it and the other half is used to cover the stuffing. It is then sealed on the edges and fried in lard!
One of the top reasons to celebrate Empanada Day is its versatility! This allows us to cater to different palates, making them best suited for special or large gatherings! They are easy to make and could be modified to suit your breakfast, lunch, snacks, dessert, or dinner plans! Fruit-based stuffings could be a hit with children and sweet teeth while the vegetable and meat-based empanadas could be enjoyed by adults anytime or day of the year!
How Can We Observe National Empanada Day:
Here are some interesting ways to observe the day!
- Order some for yourself!
Celebrate the day by ordering all your favorite empanadas! If you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy the fruit and sweetmeat stuffed empanadas. If you are a meat person, you could pamper yourself with empanadas stuffed with ground beef, pork, chicken, and even the seafood of your choice!
- Gift them!
Is there someone in your family or friends who is a huge fan of empanadas? Make their day by sending over a box of empanadas today!
- Share them!
There is tremendous joy in giving! Make that joy yours by sharing some empanadas to your nearest children’s homes or homeless shelters.
- Go, Empanada Hunting!
Plan a day out with your friends or family today! Hit the road and go explore the different empanadas in your city and the next! Don’t forget to share your photos and experience on social media! Who knows you could become the next best food influencer!
- Cook’em with family!
What better way to celebrate the day than with family? Get your family involved in the dough-making process and help them to make the stuffing of their choice! It’s an irony how all your sticky dough fingers and messy kitchen can help in bonding with your family!
- Have them all day!
There are so many types of empanadas that you could have them for breakfast, a filling savory lunch or dinner, or as an on-the-go snack or as dessert! So don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying them all day!
- Share Some Empanada love on social media!
Click pictures of your homemade or store-bought empanadas, and share their stuffing story or recipe today! You could use #NationalEmpanadaDay and #EmpanadaDay to post on all your social media accounts and encourage friends and family to celebrate the empanadas today and every day!
Interesting Facts About National Empanada Day:
Enjoy these interesting facts surrounding National Empanada Day!
- In Afghanistan, an empanada variant called Bolani is made by stuffing vegetables such as potatoes or spinach in flatbreads. They are usually serving during Ramadan.
- In Indonesia, Empanadas go by the name “Pastel” or “Panada”. The Pastel has a thin outer crust with fillings made of finely chopped chicken, glass noodles, potatoes, carrots, green onions, and garlic! While the Panada has a thick bread-like crust filled with chili peppers and spiced tuna!
- Bolivian Empanadas are called “Saltenas” having stuffings made of beef, chicken, or pork and may also include carrots, peas, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, raisins, or even olives! They usually come in half-moon-shaped dough pouches!
History of National Empanada Day:
It is rather unfortunate to tell you that the history of National Empanada Day is not known yet. While we continue to research the founder and story behind this day, don’t forget to enjoy some Empanadas today!