You might know what an empanada is, especially if you live in a place with a heavy dose of Latin culture, like Florida or Tejas or Alta California. We're talking little savory pies, usually with a meat filling. In South Florida you can walk into any old Publix grocery store and buy baked Cuban empanadas with beef and onions and garlic and deliciousness.
Empanadas are straight up delicious, but I was never able to enjoy them to their fullest because they're baked, while Brazilian pastéis (as the dear reader suspects, etymologically connected to "pastry" and "pasty") are fried. FRIED, Y'ALL! Deep. Fried. Crunchy. Melty. Savory. Delish.
So when I heard that one of Chile's national dishes, in which they took great pride, was the empanada, I was unimpressed and unenthusiastic. I mean, I love a meat pie, but this ain't gonna be no pastel.
But guys. They have deep fried empanadas in Chile. Sure, they mostly serve baked empanadas, but fried ones are common. And they're HUGE. Really big. And really full. Besides the beef and onion thing, there are all sorts of fillings commonly available, sausage, scallops, razor clams, what have you.
Little George recently rocked a blood sausage empanada, looking me in the eye and saying, "I ordered the manliest empanada, dad." I could only acknowledge the truth of what he said, of course. I mean, it's spiced blood paste. Pretty manly.
But back to fried. Deep. Fried. Empanadas. Took my daughter out for some on Monday in Providencia, Santiago, near my grandfather's office. She hung out at the office, heard some stories about glory days in geological exploration in Latin America (pretty hair-raising stories, at that), peeked into a couple of bookstores with me, then sat down at a sidewalk shop and ate Chile's bigger fuller version of the pastel. Meat. Flaky pastry. Melty cheese. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Pray for our daughters as they adjust to life away from the U.S.
Blood sausage. The manliest.
Look how the pastry bubbles when it's fried... *sigh of happiness*
Gigantic. No, seriously. 6'9". It's all people can talk about when they meet me, so I just got it out of the way. By the grace of Jesus bringing this immense frame to bear on building his Kingdom. Reversing this much weight takes a long time.