Smart Mouth Newsletter: The Mystery of the Mexican “Turkish” Empanada
By Lorena Rios
The Mexican town of Santiago, Nuevo León, about three hours from McAllen, Texas, is known for a savory empanada-like bread whose flavors in no way resemble those of mainstream Mexican cuisine. To make the dough, flour is mixed with pork fat and melted piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar); the stuffing is pork meat mixed with more piloncillo, salt, and clove. You can eat it like a concha with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or to appease hunger, paired with a cold Coca-Cola, said Librado Salazar, a 76-year-old baker who has been making these turcos for 60 years.