El Salvadoran Quesadilla vs Tex-Mex Quesadilla: What's the Difference?

Posted: Apr 22 2014

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas well our staple food there is Tex-Mex. So I’d say while living in S.A., 2 out of 3 meals a day were Tex-Mex. Yes, delicious. And quesadillas were always something we’d eat on Thursdays at a restaurant called Las Palapas. My entire family would head out to the restaurant and we would look forward all week to “Quesadilla Thursday”. 

To me, I always knew quesadillas as a salty main course or potentially even an appetizer. The Tex-Mex quesadilla consists of a white cheese like Monterrey jack or cheddar sandwiched between two grilled tortillas with any number of fillings: steak, chicken, vegetable etc. And my favorite part was and still is the pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream that accompany Tex-Mex quesadillas. 

Fast forward to high school, when my family moved to Houston for 4 years. Houston’s got a much more international community, and one day a friend of my mom’s brought us some quesadillas. But wait! This was a completely different kind of quesadilla. These were El Salvadoran quesadillas. This new quesadilla was a sweetbread that looked similar to cornbread but was smoother and sweeter.

The El Salvadoran quesadillas are typically made with a hard cheese such a cotija cheese and/or sour cream. In the U.S. however, oftentimes you’ll see recipes with parmesan cheese due to the widespread availability of the cheese.

Have you tried both quesadillas or have a preference for the Tex-Mex or El Salvadoran versions?

-Zee Diaz


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