What Is a Sincronizada?

A. Leverkuhn

The sincronizada is a Mexican type of prepared food that resembles a sandwich. In this type of dish, ham and cheese are pressed between two tortillas, which are then grilled. The sincronizada looks and often tastes much like a similar dish, the quesadilla, which has been more popularized around the globe. There are several more reminiscent dishes, packed between tortillas, that use other ingredient combinations, and which go by different names.

Robust salsa and peppers are often served with sincronizada.
Robust salsa and peppers are often served with sincronizada.

In the case of the sincronizada, the dish is so named because the ham and cheese are synchronized in their placement between the tortillas. The tortillas used in this dish are often corn flour ones. The traditional cheese used is a Oaxaca cheese, a reference to the Mexican origination of the dish.

Guacamole may be added to sincronizada.
Guacamole may be added to sincronizada.

Certain recipes may instead feature other cheeses. One cheese used in upscale versions of the dish is Manchego, a hard sheep’s cheese named for the La Mancha region of Spain. Using Manchego or other cheeses tends to make the recipe more cosmopolitan.

Some cooks will add sour cream or other elements to a sincronizada. Guacamole, the paste of avocados, is a common one. Salsa and peppers may also be used: some cooks add jalapenos or chipotle peppers to jazz up this meal. Many of the common additions are those that are also used in other authentic Mexican dishes like burritos, enchiladas, or tacos, where the tortilla may play a similar role in slightly different positions or presentations.

In addition to the peppers and other garnishes, some cooks will use lemon wedges as a garnish. The entire sincronizada is often cut to serve, into halves or quarters, or smaller wedges for a tapas or small plate style. These pieces should be served hot with the cheese slightly melted.

The sincronizada is a prominent part of the larger Mexican cuisine that is making large inroads, not just in North America, but in the rest of the world as well. Food manufacturers working with restaurant chains are realizing that this particular kind of food can be easy to make from shipped ingredients. Though it may be more commonly known as a quesadilla, this type of traditional Mexican offering is now enjoyed in restaurants worldwide.

Chipotle peppers can jazz up sincronizada.
Chipotle peppers can jazz up sincronizada.

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