Empanadas – From Spanish Colonization to Colombian Café Treat

by | Jul 26, 2022 | cafe

There is a lot of talk about Colombian cultural dishes in the last year. While part of that is due to pop culture like movies and music, an even bigger part is the lasting traditions and tastes that have endured through many cultures.

Where Did Empanadas Come From?

While many people today think of empanadas as a treat from countries like Colombia, they were originally introduced to the area by colonizers. Specifically, Spanish colonizers brought their culture and cuisine to the region when they arrived.

In Colombia, the native people were already using ingredients such as corn in their dishes. Their coarse flours and corn-based foods were adapted to these new flavors and techniques. Soon, the ground corn, wheat, and other ingredients were used to create the empanada, a filling-stuffed fritter that gained popularity with the people as a way of using almost anything available.

Coming to America

As with most things, empanadas available in American cafes and bakeries are adapted from those that came from other countries. Nearly every treat available in the United States today traces its origins to other nations, but few have retained their original shapes, flavors, and style the way these little fritters have.

You can find empanadas in the Colombian style in many places, but they are best and most authentic when purchased from a Colombian bakery or café. If you want to taste the rich heritage and cultural cuisine of the nation most famous for coffee, pair a delicious Colombian coffee with an authentic empanada.

Movie Magic

When a treat or cultural dish shows up in a popular movie or series, many fans race to find it in stores or restaurants. This was certainly the case since late 2021 when the Disney film Encanto premiered. The movie was a smash hit, and the fictional Colombian family depicted in the film enjoyed delicious empanadas, arepas, and other authentic Colombian dishes throughout the story.

Children and parents alike were soon scouring the internet – and the menus of their favorite local cafes and bakeries – to find these dishes. Many people also tried making them at home but found that it was more difficult than they bargained for.

Thankfully, there are plenty of places to get these delicious dishes and tasty treats. If you are lucky enough to live near a Colombian bakery – or have one near your next vacation destination – be sure to grab some empanadas from Take It Easy Roasters and see what all the fuss is about!

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