Tag Archives: Best Street Food

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CHORIPAN. BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Choripan, Argentinean as Football.

Being an Argentinean implies love for meat… meat in Argentina implies barbecue… and a proper Argentinean barbecue does imply Choripan. Simple equation. There are only few chances to find someone in this country who doesn’t enjoy a good Sunday barbecue, and probably there’s not a single “Asado” (Argentinean barbecue), where they don’t serve Choripan, or “Chori” as they call it as well, as starter.

Choripan, an abbreviation for CHORIZO (sausage) + PAN (bread), is the most common starter of every single Sunday barbecue. As in many other places of the planet, the marriage between sausage and bun is one of the happiest and will last forever, either if they call it Hot Dog, Würstl, Choriperro or “Chori”. It is a real winner, delicious, cheap, fast and especially simple. Just grab a nice fresh chorizo perfectly grilled as the street vendors do, put it on a white baguette and spread a full spoon of chimichurri (an olive oil topping sauce with garlic, oregano, parsley and chili) all over it.

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Since mid XIX century, Gauchos (Argentinean cowboys) from La Plata river area, used to serve black pudding and chorizo in a piece of bread as a snack during their barbecues, while they awaited for the beef to be done. This tradition has been kept throughout the years but now in the urban areas. Chori is nowadays considered the King of Street Foods in Argentina and it’s one of the most common dishes during family parties, political preaches and especially before the matches, around the stadiums, because, as you may know, Choripan is as Argentinean as football.

Where?  Miguel’s Choris

Miguel’s Choris

Mataderos Fair

Lisandro de la Torre Ave. /Tandil

Opposite to Chicago Carwash

Mataderos

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Opening Hours:

Sundays and Bank Holidays 11:30 – 19:00

Price (Unit):

$10 ARS ($1.13 USD)

There are several restaurants that include it on their menu, but there’s nothing like a street Choripan, on Sundays, at Mataderos Fair in Buenos Aires. Unlike the overcrowded San Telmo Fair, Mataderos is a tourists-free one, to really feel Gauchos culture, among the locals, in the middle of a vibrant street party, enjoying popular Pampa music or the incredibly contagious cumbia villera (cumbia from the slums).

To get to this Fair, head to Mataderos (slaughters) neighbourhood. The fair is open only on Sundays and bank holidays, and it is the core of the popular traditions of Argentina. It includes more than 300 stalls of handcrafts and foods, where you can have a glimpse of the Gauchos pride, with mate, wine, dances and traditional snacks.

Miguel Ángel, a role model for everyone

54 year-old Miguel Ángel Unzurrunzaga, has french-vasc ancestors. He and his wife have been selling Choripan for seven years, but they have been cooking for long, since a close friend taught Miguel Angel the art of making barbecues. He has to supervise his Choripan cart and his clothing stall, both at Mataderos Fair all day long, moving from one to another. When chatting with him, we felt a very nice attitude and a brilliant mind despite of being on a wheelchair. He is a man of steel with a positive way of thinking that every one of us should have.

"Los Choris de Miguel"
Miguel Ángel Unzurrúnzaga. Buenos Aires, Argentina

He’s got burgers available in his cart as well, but Choris are the real stars of the show. They are really good, soft and juicy, thanks to his own recipe for chorizos, that include a mix of pork, beef, spices and the most important, natural pork tripe, not the artificial one, as most use.

Miguel Ángel and his wife have five children and due to his effort and commitment with his business, has made of Choris his source of income and the way to achieve his life goals. He is a happy man; however, as anyone else, sometimes he’s got his own “quilombos” (the very local word for “problems”) as he points. Now he wishes to get a small truck for the business, to help him move faster, save on transportation and be more independent.

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Hungry for one? Check the Choripan recipe at SBS

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TRIPA MISHQUI. QUITO, ECUADOR

Tripa Mishqui, the heritage of the Andean Gastronomy.

-Chunchullo?, Chunchurria?, Chinchurria?, Chuchula?… what could be the worst name for that cow intestine so popular in our barbecues?  The truth is that you can find it by all those names in Colombia, depending on the region you are.  But even the list gets longer all along South America, with similar names like Choncholi or Chinchulín, as they all come from the Quechua word “Ch’unchul”.

It is pretty common to find this delicacy in South American countries, either on streets or Sunday barbecues and Ecuador is not an exception, however, the name they’ve got for this tripe sounds more promising and delicate than the others.  They call it in Quechua “Tripa Mishqui”, which means “Delicious Gut”…… and it is indeed delicious.

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Despite this visceral delicacy is generally served as a starter during the barbecues, Tripa Mishqui goes a bit beyond.  This Ecuadorian Andes dish includes short pieces of marinated and nicely chargrilled small cow intestine, served with boiled potatoes, fava beans, white corn and then loaded with peanut chili sauce and fresh coriander, turning this underestimated “cow leftover” into an exquisite mix of textures and flavours.  The fascinating smoky smell of the guts on the grill covers the entire place nearby and it’s practically impossible not to try it.  Intestines are incredibly good when grilled, and have a weird texture that can be crispy and chewy in the same bite.

Where?  Donde Doña Fabiolita

Donde Doña Fabiolita

Las Vicentinas Park

Ladrón de Guevara Ave / Lérida

La Floresta

Quito, Ecuador

Opening Hours:

Mon – Sun 16:00 – 22:30

Price (Portion):

$2.50 USD

A cool way to finish your afternoon and get ready for Quito’s nightlife is heading to Las Vicentinas Park, also known as La Floresta Park, one of the most famous “Huecas” or Street Food places in the city’s downtown, next to Catholic University.  Once at the park, it is easy to identify the vendors corner just following the smell of the grill and the hungry crowd that meets every day from 5 in the afternoon, right after work.

Among all of the vendors, you’ll find Dona Fabiolita, who keeps the tradition of Tripa Mishqui, behind a flaming grill and an expectating queue of regular clients, gastronomic adventurers, and those who eat guts because of their“healing” properties for gastritis (the fact is that they do not really cure but create a layer of fat on the stomach walls so that it relieves the pain for some hours)

Doña Fabiolita Stall, the oldest selling Tripa

Fabiola Yugcha has been working for over 30 years and she wakes up, day by day, with the same positive attitude to serve her costumers.  She is one of the few who keeps traditional Ecuadorian food alive.

"Tripa Mishki Doña Fabiolita"
Fabiola Yugcha. Quito, Ecuador

Fabiola and her sisters continued the legacy of their mother, who made cooking her way of living 50 years ago.  Now, all sisters have their own food stall at Las Vicentinas, however, they decided not to sell the same dishes to avoid rivalry between them.  It is easy to identify Fabiola’s stall… it is the busiest one.  Dozens of students, workers, common people and tourists, clump together in front of her stall to enjoy this delicacy, with all the chewing skills needed to eat this dish.

Preparation for this dish requires loads of work.  Although there is Tripa Mishqui available from 4:00 pm, Fabiola has to start at 7:00 am to do all sauces, cuts, marinating guts and some other preparations before heading to La Floresta roundabout to get ready for the service.  Despite she´s a busy woman, she told us her secrets for a nice Tripa: keep the tripe on a garlic, onion, achiote, salt and pepper marinate for some hours and great skills to deal with a full flaming grill, which only few as she, master to perfection…The result?, a soft, juicy and well done Tripa Mishqui.

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Read more about Tripa Mishqui at Wikipedia

Sandwich de Chorizo / La Paz, Bolivia

Chorizo Sandwich. La Paz, Bolivia

Chorizo Sandwich at La Paz, Bolivia. Tender, Juicy and Unique.

In Latin America, Chorizo Sandwich is as common as one’s daily bread… or even better, Chorizo goes so good with daily bread, hence this marvelous match repeats constantly all along the continent, from Colombian “Choriperro” to its southern cone cousin “Choripan”. The story in La Paz couldn’t be the exception; Chorizo Sandwich is as popular as the shouts of stall vendors calling you to try their foods: -Pase caserito, caseritooo!

Unlike their Latin American similars, this Bolivian Sandwich tend to be more elaborate; and despite an endless discussion of who’s got the best Chorizo recipe, from Galician to Patagonian, the truth is that Chuquisaqueño Chorizos (from Sucre) have a unique taste. They are absolutely tender and juicy, due to a mix of selected cuts of pork, beef and bacon.

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Sandwiches are made with freshly fried Chorizos are  and served in a country-style bun, round and heavy, garnished with either a fresh salad made out of lettuce, tomato, and red onion; or a warm salad made with carrots, red onion and sauerkraut.

But that’s not all. Even if that seems enough, there are still a dozen of sauces and toppings more to choose from, just to garnish your sandwich (depending on how hungry you are). Apart from common sauces (ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard), you can find a large selection of pickled vegetables including Cauliflower, Red and Green Chillies, Gherkins, Carrots, Green Beans, Black Olives, Broccoli, Spinach, Llajwa (chilli sauce) and the popular herb Quirquiña.

Where?  Doña Elvira

Doña Elvira Sandwiches

Lanza Market

3rd Floor – Aisle # 14

Evaristo Valle st. / Figueroa

La Paz, Bolivia

Opening Hours:

Mon – Sat 7:00 – 21:00 / Sun 7:00 – 13:00

Price:

$7 BOB ($1 USD)

These Sandwiches are really popular in La Paz and you can find them either in small restaurants, streets or markets. However, Doña Elvira Chorizo Sandwiches, inside Lanza Market, have become a staple of the city. Lanza Market is located at downtown La Paz, just beside San Francisco church, and it’s really easy to get there, as it is close to most of the attractions, including the famous Witches Market.

Get into the building, walk upstairs to the third floor and look for aisle # 14. By the end of this, just in the corner, you will find some Chorizo Sandwich stalls. You can also get directly to the third floor, from the footbridge which is by the end of Comercio Street. There’s no need to ask which one is Doña Elvira Sandwiches stall, as it is the most crowded and also there’s an enormous banner that you can see even from street with her picture on it.

Who’s Doña Elvira?

Elvira Goitía de Medrano is the founder of one of the most visited stalls at Lanza Market, especially after 5 in the afternoon, right after the workday. Thanks to her Chorizo Sandwiches, Elvira brings together dozens of people from all backgrounds, where you can easily meet politicians and people from Bolivian media, turning her stall into a kind of “Public Relations Department” (that’s why we managed to be interviewed by the national news channel).

"Sandwich de Chorizo Doña Elvira"
LA PAZ – BOLIVIA / Elvira Goitía

Elvira’s Grandmother was one of the pioneers of La Paz classic food, who used to sell fruits outside of San Francisco church several years ago. Short time after, Elvira´s mother and grandmother started selling Enrollados de Chancho (Pork Rolls) at Plaza Mayor, following with Chicken Sandwiches and finally they specialized in Chorizo Sandwiches. In 2010, when Lanza Market was built to relocate hundreds of families who had made food their only source of income, Elvira’s family were able to get the stall where they’re still selling in, sort of a compensation for their effort, during decades of restless work in the art of cooking.

After some years as Social Worker for the government, Elvira continued with her mother and grandmother’s business. She decided to improve chorizos recipe, adding some Llama meat to the mix, which makes them unique in La Paz. Her Sandwiches have reached that popularity that she needs four additional people to serve massive flows of costumers. Due to her success and her effort, she’s been able to raise her three children, support her mother and of course for traveling during her holidays. Now she expects to open a new branch in Miraflores neighbourhood to keep pleasing locals and tourists with her Chorizo Sandwiches, considered by everyone, the best in town.

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Check Chuquisaqueño Chorizos recipe for your Sandwich at Bolivia.com

Sopaipillas El Jooomba / Santiago, Chile

Sopaipillas. Santiago, Chile

Sopaipillas, a Chilean Classic in Santiago.

If colombians got the “Arepa” and mexicans “Tortilla”, Chileans got the Sopaipilla. It is a very simple but a winner recipe: a small deep-fried flat bread with such quantity of sauces and toppings availailable to pour on, that make them really interesting: Mayo, Tártar Sauce, Kétchup, Golf Sauce, Mustard, Soy Sauce, Chilli Sauce and the very chilean “Pebre” (a mix of finely chopped tomato, onion, garlic, fresh coriander and chilli) and “Chancho en Piedra” (mortar-mashed Pebre, till getting a thick sauce) that turn Sopaipillas into a high addictive snack, as they get a different taste with each combination, making you want more and more.

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Due to their neutral flavor you can have them either salty as in this case or a sweet version, dunking them in “Chancaca” (unrefined sugar-cane syrup), fantastic during the southern winter. Despite Sopaipillas are not an exclusivity from Chile, since you can also find them along the Southern Cone countries, Tex-Mex area and Andalucia, Spain, it is the way they have them and its popularity on streets what makes them a Chilean asset. The word Sopaipilla comes from the arabs, who used to call Sopaipa to some kind of fried dough.

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Where?   Sopaipillas El Jooomba

While we were travelling in Uyuni, Bolivia, we met a nice Chilean backpacker who suggested us some of the must-visit places when we arrived to her native Santiago, including O’Higgins Park, an emblematic destination for the locals to spend their Sundays and have a traditional snack on the surrounding streets.

Sopaipillas “El Jooomba”

O’Higgins Metro Station Exit

Manuel Antonio Matta / Manuel Rodríguez Ave.

Santiago, Chile

Opening Hours:

Mon – Fri 7:30 – 11:00 and 17:00 – 21:30

Price (Unit):

$150 CLP ($0.25 USD)

And indeed, couple of months later we went there. We just had to leave the O’Higgins metro station and right in front of the exit we found “El Jooomba” cart, who sells probably one of the most popular street foods all along Chile. Sopaipillas are easy to find at almost every corner of crowded city areas… and you don’t have to ask if they’re good, you realize it when you see how popular they are.

“El Jooomba” cart is located right down the stairs of O’Higgins metro station. Right there we met Juan and Dannaes, a very young couple, very cool guys with their customers and a very good duo in their business. They know how to work together and get everything ready to serve the crowd of people during the peak hours, especially on Mondays. Juan is in charge of the cooking, while Dannaes serves customers.

"Sopaipillas Metro Parque O'Higgins"
SANTIAGO – CHILE / Juan Águila & Dannaes Iligaray

They offer not only fresh fried Sopaipillas, with a long variety of sauces and toppings that cover the entire cart front, for a backpacker-budget price, but some other Chilean delicacies as well: Arrollados de Jamón y Queso (ham & cheese rolls), Empanadas de Queso (cheese pasty), Hot Dogs, Coffee, Tea and Milo.

Juan’s mother and grandmother supported and raised their family selling Sopaipillas for more than 13 years and he learned the job helping them in their cart after the school hours; and also working for Schopdog, a national fast food restaurant chain. By the end of 2012, Juan and Dannaes decided to become independent and create their own business, since they now have to take care of little Diego Alonso, their 3 year-old baby. Despite the hard work they do, they can cover all their expenses and save for a car and their own house in the future.

Sopaipillas Recipe

To make Sopaipillas at home you will need:

  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of mashed pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 3 spoons of molten butter
  • ½ cup of hot water or milk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Plenty of vegetable oil

Directions:

1.  Mix the flour, butter and pumpkin in a bowl.  Slowly add water (or milk) and salt to the mix and stir gently till you get a smooth, elastic and non-sticky dough with no lumps.

2.  Roll out the dough to a 5mm thick. Cut circles of 10 cm wide.  Pierce each circle with a fork before frying.

3.  Heat plenty of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan.  Make sure the oil is very hot. Fry sopaipillas for about 1 minute till they got a nice light gold colour.  Remove sopaipillas from oil and place them on a paper towel.

4.  Serve hot sopaipillas apart and ramekins with Mayo, Tártar Sauce, Ketchup, Golf Sauce, Mustard, Soy Sauce, Chilli Sauce, “Pebre”, “Chancho en Piedra”, Avocado, Cheese and Chancaca.

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Read more about Sopaipillas at Wikipedia

"Chontaduros de Alicita"

Chontaduro. Cali, Colombia

Chontaduro in Colombia. Cali’s best-selling fruit.

When mentioning Chontaduro (Peach Palm Fruit), we are talking about one of the best-selling fruits on Colombian streets. Spending some few hours in Cali will reveal how popular it is in the city, even more than fast food. It is considered the “National Viagra” and despite of the lack of studies to support its believed effects of increasing libido and extending for hours people’s ‘performance’ under the sheets without exhausting, the truth is that nutritional properties of Chontaduro have been extensively proven.

This palm fruit contains as much protein as eggs, liposoluble vitamins, zinc, cooper, calcium, iron, beta-carotene and helps lowering cholesterol levels, due to its high contents of omega 3 and 6. Perhaps that’s the reason why people who eat it frequently point Chontaduro as a natural energy booster.

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If someone thinks coconut tree is versatile, then perhaps still don’t know about this Central and South American palm, whose fruits are as popular as the music produced by the “Marimba de Chonta” a type of xylophone made out of the beautiful dark wood of this palm, that brings joy to colombian parties; the tender hearts of this palm garnish the most delicious salads.

Alicita’s Chontaduros

Alameda Market - Entrance # 6

24th Avenue – 8th Street

Cali, Colombia

Opening Hours:

Mon – Sun 8:00 – 15:00

Price (Unit):

$1.000 COP ($0.50 USD)

If you try this tropical fruit, you will find a floury texture, like a boiled potato, with a butternut squash or sweet potato taste-like. You might think it’s a bit dry, due to its high contents of natural oils, but if you like to try a perfect and exotic match for your “Tinto” (Colombian Coffee) then this is the right choice. The skin of this fruit varies from red to intense orange and its flesh is orange with a coconut-like small pit. Ask your Chontaduro slightly salted, with honey or even both of them to enhance flavor.

Where?    Alicita’s Chontaduros

It is easy to find Chontaduro vendors in the Valle’s capital, at Santa Elena Market or Chontaduro Park. However, if you are at downtown, then go to Galería Alameda, one of the most visited fruit and vegetable markets in Cali. Right at Entrance # 6 you will see “Alicita” with a large tray full of Chontaduro, all red, shiny and huge, which definitely are among the best in town. You can probably find some cheaper ones around, but she says she doesn’t like to sell them. She carefully selects the fruits by their size and precise point of ripeness.

Behind the Fruits.  The story  of Alicia Córdoba

Alicia Córdoba was born in 1950 in Tadó, a small town located in the Chocó province, at the Colombian Pacific Region. She is undoubtly a very nice person to chat with and unlike the rest of us, she didn’t expect any professional or material success, instead, her dream since she was a child, was nothing but being a good and beloved person….and she really is.

Chontaduros de Alicita
CALI – COLOMBIA / Alicia Córdoba

Mother of two, Monica (32) and Carlos Alberto (43), had to take care of her family at a very early age. Since 1966 Alicia, like many other women from her province, started to sell Chontaduro in Medellín, walking streets up and down with a bowl of fruits over her head, without any rest. Few years later she moved to the Nueva Floresta neighbourhood in Cali before settling down at Alameda Market, largely visited by the locals since it was opened.

Preparing and cooking Chontaduros, demands a very hard work for this sixty four year-old woman. Every day, after she closes her stall, Alicia selects and buys several bunches of fruit to take home. Her kitchen is located at the third floor of the house she lives in, so she has to walk up and downstairs to use her woodburning stove. She boils about a five-gallon bin full of palm fruits for more than three hours, to sell next day, all by herself, seven days a week.

Chontaduros come with a Reward

After 47 years of hard work, Alicia made Chontaduros her source of income and education for her family. Nothing bad because she has got the opportunity to travel the country several times from Caribbean in the north, to Nariño at the south and even Ecuador, thanks to her small stall. She dreams to go to Orinoquía, at Colombian east for her next holidays.

We could describe Alicita as a hard working woman, with an incredible memory and a charming personality, wich makes her customers to visit her very often. If you visit her you will find not only extremely good Chontaduros but also good story-telling woman who gets immediately confident with you.

Dare? 

Mojojoy (Chontaduro Palm Worm)
“Mojojoy” or “Chontacuro” (Chontaduro Palm Worm)

Chontaduro is very popular among tropical countries of Central and South America. It is known with different names: Colombia: Chontaduro o Cachipay, Venezuela: Pijiguao o Pichiguao, Perú: Pijuayo, Bolivia: Tembe, Brasil: Pupunha, Panamá Pifá, Pibá y Pixbae, Costa Rica: Pejibaye.

In Colombia it is harvested in two different seasons, one between January and May and then from August to November. The fruit’s pulp can be processed to obtain flour and be used in juices, soups, pastry and preserves.  However, if you dare, you can try the “Mojojoy” or “Chontacuro” worm (a future beetle) which is usually found in the palm´s core, considered a delicacy by the indigenous of the Amazon.

Read more about Chontaduro at Wikipedia