Thursday, May 26, 2022
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El Salvador, time to ‘chuponear’

El Salvador, time to ‘chuponear’

San Salvador, (Prensa Latina) Salvadorans commit the sin of pouring too much water in their good coffee in order to 'chuponear' (suck), that is, dipping sweet bread, cookies or cake in the aromatic infusion.
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Moreover, for purists who can’t stand the clear and diluted versions of this drink called -the ‘Americano’-, its eventual consumption is made more bearable when they dip the ‘panatela’ in what some kindly call ‘agüe’calzón’.

Here there is an abundance of pastries to ‘chuponear’: ‘pichardines’, ‘peperechas’, ‘santanecas’, ‘marquesotes’ and ‘quesadillas’ lend themselves to this almost liturgical custom, although many prefer ‘salpor’ and ‘semita’.

Salpor is a small sponge cake made with rice and almond flour, typical of the local bakery, difficult to swallow dry, but ideal to dip in a cup of coffee before each bite.

The term is said to be a contraction of ‘salt, please’, although it also denotes a variety of corn sifted into a very fine powder.

In turn, the semita is a kind of sandwich, only that the covers are two sheets of whole wheat flour, crunchy and of medium thickness, which hold a panela syrup (raspadura), sometimes mixed with pineapple jelly, and sprinkled with sugar.

A peculiarity is the net-like design of its cover, which differentiates it from other local recipes with the same ingredients: flour, sugar, lard, yeast, egg and salt.

There are two types of semitas in El Salvador: the pacha (flatter) and the alta (more voluminous and without filling), but both with the characteristic decoration and a considerable caloric load.

Whether after meals or at mid-morning, salpor, semita or other national pastries add body to the dark infusion, but also to those who consume them, because they do not help anyone on a diet.

These sweets are longed for by the Salvadoran diaspora, those ‘distant brothers’ urge for a piece of their sweet homeland to appease the nostalgia, that little pain that only home cures.

(Taken from Orbe)


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