Salvadoran Pupusas. Tasty food originated in El Salvador.

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Monday, January 27th, 2020
Salvadoran Pupusas

Traditional Salvadoran Pupusas are thick hand-made tortillas made of rice or corn flour filled with cheese, shredded pork, beans, or Loroca (Local edible flower). Pupusas, the national dish of El Salvador, is then topped with homemade Curtido (a sour cabbage salad) and tomato sauce.

Salvadoran Pupusas origin is the country of El Salvador. The history of Pupusas tells us that Pipil Indians invented the tasty Salvadoran Pupusas in pre-colonial times.

El Salvador Pupusas

Without a doubt, Pupusas are more prevalent in El Salvador, the country where they originated from. Nevertheless, Salvadoran pupusas are famous worldwide, especially in large cities in the US, Canada, and Europe. Basically, pupusas are found in any country or city that has a large Salvadoran population.

Pupusas are the most popular food consumed in El Salvador; they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snacks. It does not matter what part of the country you find yourself in; if you want to eat Pupusas, you will always find a Pupuseria nearby.

Where did pupusas originate from?

As this tasty Salvadoran dish expends worldwide, many people ask the following questions; Where do Pupusas originate from? What country are pupusas from? Pupusas are from what country?

The short answer to all the above questions is that Pupusas originate from El Salvador. Yes, this small nation mainly known for the civil war of the 80s, the gang violence, and now president Nayib Bukele is where Pupusas originate from.

The History of Salvadoran Pupusas.

The Salvadoran Pupusas history dates back to pre-colonial times. According to historians, Salvadoran Pupusas, or a variation of today’s dish, was first made by the Pipil Indians. So, the answer as to who invented Pupusas is the Pipil Indians in pre-colonial times.

The diet of the Pípil Indians was the same as other Meso-American people; it included corn, beans, and squash, strengthened with whatever meat was available at the time. The Pipil discovered how to make their own version of corn dough that is used to make tortillas or Pupusas.

Historians also noted that the pre-Columbian Pupusas were vegetarian, and it was shaped like a half-moon. Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagun transcribed that by 1570, the meat had been incorporated into the Pupusa filling.

Furthermore, cooking instruments used for the preparation of corn dough have been excavated at the Joya de Ceren site and other archaeological places in El Salvador.

The Pipil tribe might not have made Pupusas the way we know them today; nevertheless, the Salvadoran Pupusas history demonstrates that the Pipil Indians are who invented Pupusas originally.

Salvadoran Pupusas

How did Salvadoran Pupusas got to be known around the world?

For many centuries, Pupusas were mainly a local dish made by Salvadoran families, mostly in the country’s western part. In the 1970s, Pupusas expanded to other areas of the country and regions of neighboring Guatemala and Honduras.

Today Pupuserias are found all over the Salvadoran territory. This dish is so popular that the country has its own official Pupusa day. The second Sunday of November is National Pupusa Day, an official holiday in El Salvador.

Pupusas expanding around the globe.

In the 1980s, Pupusas started to be known outside El Salvador. The Salvadoran armed conflict of the 1980s forced many people to migrate to other countries, mainly the United States.

These Salvadoran migrants brought the knowledge of how to make Pupusas to different countries. Consequently, over time, Pupusas became available in whatever country a Salvadoran community was found.

Nowadays, Pupuserias are found in many large and small cities in the United States. Furthermore, you can locate Pupuserias in countries such as Australia, Italy, Canada, and many other nations.

How do you eat a Pupusa the Salvadoran way?

Well, the most important thing is that you have to eat it with your fingers. Of course, the polite way is to eat it with a knife and fork; nonetheless, you should try it like a Salvadoran and use your fingers.

Adding Salsa and Curtido is an optional thing; some people like to add a small portion of both, while others like to add a lot of the side toppings.

Now, even though the taste of pupusas will be similar in most Pupuserias, the taste of the Curtido and Salsa will vary. Because of customer’s different likes, some Pupuserias offer different types of Curtido and Salsa.

Pupusas are one the most delicious thing ever to come up from El Salvador, and you should definitely try them; whether you are buying them from a street vendor or a Pupuseria, it’ll always be crazy satisfying and delicious.

How are Salvadoran Pupusas made?

Salvadoran Pupusas are not complicated to make. Pupusas are just hand-made tortillas made using corn flour dough and filled with one or more of the following optional ingredients:

The most popular optional ingredients to fill Pupusas are Cheese, fried pork rind or Chicharrón, refried beans, and Loroco flower. Obviously, some places take the liberty of creating different variations of this Salvadoran dish, especially during holidays.

I will not try to explain how to make Pupusas as I am not an expert in making them; I am an expert in eating them!

If you want to make Pupusas, there are fantastic videos, recipes, and cookbooks on how to make Pupusas available online. I am sure you will find one that will teach you how to do it.

Salvadoran Pupusas

Salvadoran Pupusas.

The Pupusas country of origin is El Salvador, even though you can find this dish in other countries in Central America.

In summary, Pupusas are a Salvadoran dish created a long tie ago by the Pipil Indians. Today, this dish is served all over El Salvador and in many countries around the world. So, if you ever get the chance, try this delicious dish at least once. I am sure you will enjoy it.

If you are not able to find a Pupuseria near you, here is a recipe on how to make this dish by

Also, if you want to know more about traditional Salvadorian food or restaurants, I recommend you visit, a blog by Doris de Semsch. The blog is in Spanish, but you can use google translate to read it.

Food & Drinks