Baleada or “She who was shot”
Baleada, Strange as it may sound is the name of a meal, one of Honduras’ national treasures, culinarily speaking.
It’s a flour tortilla, served like a wrap (blasphemy! wraps are not even close to how good these things are), filled with fried beans, cheese, Honduran “mantequilla” (a sorta sour cream), scrambled eggs and whatever else you want, whatever money can buy you can add. And by all means, go crazy!
When I was invited to go for “Baleadas” I couldn’t help to ask why the name.
In short, nobody knows exactly why. But the 2 acceptable stories are:
- Because the beans tend to fly out of the tortilla like bullets (balas).
- Because the woman who used to sell them to the men working at the Banana export company (Honduras used to be the biggest banana exporter in the world) was shot, legend has it the men would say “Vamos donde La Baleada” ( Let’s go to the woman who was shot”), so the one food she sold got that name. This is my favorite and the one I tell.
Knowing Hondurans the way I do, I believe that story to be true, they sure know how to make fun of things, good and bad.
Anyway, I was in Tegucigalpa aka “Teguz”, the capital.
A group of locals took me to “Plaza Los Dolores”, a market in the city center, where locals go for breakfast on their way to work.
I ordered a Baleada Suprema, which had all the things mentioned above, plus carne asada and chorizo and a drink called horchata, which has nothing to do with the Spanish horchata, the former is made out of rice and “morro” seeds, the latter is made out of “chufa”. I like both but the Honduran version is much more refreshing.
As you can see the presentation is as humble as it can be, but practical. The drink is served in a plastic bag with straw, so if you don’t have time to finish it there, you can just take it with you and leave the cup.
As for baleadas, after trying them I understood why the Honduras are so proud of it, it’s something you can have for breakfast, lunch and dinner and don’t get bored because of the wide variety of things you can add, from fried plantain to chicharron.
And the best is you won’t spend more than 2 bucks on that, the basic goes for under 50 cents.
Baleadas should be enough reason to visit Honduras, believe me.
And just a piece of advice, do NOT ever, under any circumstances, compare baleadas to burritos, never!
Have you ever tried baleadas?
What’s the strangest food name you know?