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What Is Baleada?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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A baleada is a specific kind of tortilla made of wheat flour that is popular in Honduras, a part of Latin America. This simple flour tortilla is filled with a wide range of other ingredients. Some who are familiar with the food equate the Honduran baleada to the Mexican taco, in that the final result is a tortilla filled with food, something the eater can easily hold in the hand and eat on the go. In Honduras, a baleada is often presented as a kind of street food.

Some of the most common fillings for baleadas are refried black beans and simple white farmer’s cheese or queso fresco. These are the basis for a kind of baleada called simple baleada, where more advanced versions are often called “special” or “super special” baleadas. These special versions might include vegetables like avocado, bell peppers, onions or hot peppers. They might include meats like pork or beef, where the meat may be cubed, processed or slow cooked to provide a sort of carne asada or broken down meat that is more versatile and easily made into baleada filling.

Breakfast versions of baleadas include eggs along with the refried beans. Sausage or other meats may also be included in these varieties. Many breakfast versions have the same sorts of jalapenos and other hot peppers that many of the dinner versions feature.

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The essential ingredients for the actual baleada tortilla are simple. These include wheat flour along with milk or water and, in some versions of the dish, an egg. A touch of salt and a small amount of vegetable oil round out the list of common ingredients for this simple tortilla.

Classically, the baleada has been described as one of the most common and lowest-priced foods in Honduras, and has even been called the “the poor man’s burrito”. The use of these basic foods as street vended foods is similar to the phenomenon of corporate fast food in many other countries. Several years ago, many travelers to Honduras reported that the prices of these foods were going up, possibly as a part of a larger trend that includes the rise of prices of basic food commodities worldwide.

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