Last Updated on October 25, 2021 by Guillermina
Where did quesadillas originate? Do you know?
Quesadillas are a food that countless people fall in love with when they visit Mexico. It consists of a tortilla filled with cheese and folded over to be cooked over a pan. It may sound simple enough. However, with a quality masa and cheese, it serves as one of the most delectable snacks, and even meals, that you could think of.
One of the biggest discussions in Mexican cuisine is whether you can add additional ingredients to the cheese. There are many purists who hold on strongly to the belief that if you add anything else to it, it ceases to be a quesadilla. When you do so, you then enter into the world of tacos. You may end this type of argument to be quite silly before you taste your first quesadilla. This is especially true if you enjoy your quesadilla with cheese alone as it does have a distinctive taste.
So, where did quesadillas come from?
The earliest document that mentions the word quesadilla dates back to 1324, in a Catalan publication called Liver de Sent Sovi. Eventually, the Asturian language of casadiella adopted it for a sweet empanada-like dessert. This treat contained cheese and a nut-based filling that was called an empanadilla. Castillian Spanish then turned this into quesadilla and brought the idea, and the name with them, to the Americas.
Despite this history of foods that end in -illa being quite spread through Spain, many people in Mexico believe that the word comes from the Nahuatl language but this is not the case.
What Is A Quesadilla?
A quesadilla is a beautiful food and it is very visually pleasing. This explains, to a large extent, the variety of types of quesadillas that are regularly sold on the streets of Mexican cities, towns and villages every single day. The bread part of it may be made of either corn or wheat masa. It is very interesting to compare as they are both quite delicious in their own unique ways. While the corn quesadilla feels harder to the mouth and features a more poignant flavor, the wheat quesadilla is softer and adds a more subtle flavor. For this reason, many parents prefer wheat quesadillas for their kids, especially in the morning.
Types Of Quesadillas
You can even compare the different ways that they’re cooked in the different regions of Mexico. For example, in northern Mexico, cooking over the grill is quite common and is considered to be the perfect food on a chilly desert’s night. However, in central and Southern Mexico, you can find that many people prefer to fry the quesadilla. This gives them a crispier taste. Nevertheless, Cooking the quesadilla on a comal is also quite frequent and a most utilized method throughout the vending stands on the streets and public markets in all Mexico.
In fact, quesadillas are especially appealing when they are prepared atop a comal. The comal ensures an even heat dispersion. When you come across one, there’s a good chance that the tortilla that they use will have a distinct coloring. There are yellow, white, or blue quesadillas. The different coloring means that the quesadilla has been prepared with a certain mushroom that adds to them an extra sumptuous taste. Or, they are using different kinds of corn.
Funny Debate Over Quesadillas
In the northern part of the country, people heavily favor quesadilla with cheese and nothing else. In the South, it is a very different story in terms of point of view. In places around the capital, for instance, there is a belief that quesadillas can have any ingredients as long as they are flat. As a matter of fact, there are many ¨quesadillas¨ that don’t even have any cheese. These are most popular in the areas around Mexico City where you can find ones with just mushrooms, ground beef, vegetables, and many more.
However, regardless of whether you agree with one side or the other, the bottom line is that many people love to add different ingredients to a quesadilla. Although there are many variations, the only ingredients that you’ll consistently find people munching on are quesadillas with mushroom, and perhaps a bit of onion. It makes the qi¡quesadilla very delicious and does change its consistency into a wetter one that does feel a bit like soup in your mouth.
Step by Step Instructions For Quesadillas
- Cheese, the best is Oaxaca style but you can use ant¡y cheese that melts
Step 1: Add oil to frypan
Add oil to a frypan. It needs to cover all the area of the frypan which needs to be just wet.
Step 2: Heat the tortillas
Heat the tortillas in the frypan. Lay one by the other. They just need to be warm, you’re not cooking the tortillas.
Step 3: Place the cheese
Place bits and pieces of the cheese on the tortillas. You can add as much cheese as you like. However, keep in mind that you need to fold the tortilla and you don’t want the cheese to pour on the frypan.
Step 4: Fold the tortillas
Fold the tortillas making a perfect semi-circle.
Step 5: Cook the quesadilla
You need to cook the quesadilla on one side and then flip it on the other so that it gets cooked on both sides. It´s up to you how crispy you’d prefer your quesadilla and, accordingly, how much time you’ll keep it in the frypan.
Step 6: Serve
You can serve the quesadillas with fried frijoles, guacamole or pico de Gallo. If you like spicy food, you can add a salsa of Chile.
If you do end up making your own quesadilla, you can have a great deal of fun choosing different ingredients to personalize its flavor. In many restaurants, it is quite common to use a number of cheeses in order. Thus, quesadillas achieve a savory taste and a texture that reaches that perfect level of juiciness.
There are few vegetables and meats that don’t compliment a nice quesadilla. However, you’re strongly encouraged to keep it simple, at least at first, so that you can really taste what you’re making.
Quesadillas make for a very welcomed sight and the perfect break on a long and busy day. Like tacos, it is food that you can take on the go. They do satisfy the appetite when it is loaded with other ingredients.
This is especially true when you want something that’s warm and gooey. You can’t do much better than a freshly cooked quesadilla. It’s comparable to the popularity of Macaroni and cheese. Many people find it to be a great food to prepare when they want to keep calories down to a minimum.
Learn more about
- Cheese the best is Oaxaca style but you can use ant¡y cheese that melts
- Add oil to a frypan. It needs to cover all the area of the frypan which needs to be just wet.
- Heat the tortillas in the frypan. Lay one by the other. They just need to be warm, you're not cooking the tortillas.
- Place bits and pieces of the cheese on the tortillas. You can add as much cheese as you like. However, keep in mind that you need to fold the tortilla and you don't want the cheese to pour on the frypan.
- Fold the tortillas making a perfect semi-circle.
- You need to cook the quesadilla on one side and then flip it on the other so that it gets cooked on both sides. It´s up to you how crispy you'd prefer your quesadilla and, accordingly, how much time you'll keep it in the frypan.
- You can serve the quesadillas with fried frijoles, guacamole or pico de Gallo. If you like spicy food, you can add a salsa of Chile.
Quesadilla FactsIf you do end up making your own quesadilla, you can have a great deal of fun choosing different ingredients to personalize its flavor. In many restaurants, it is quite common to use a number of cheeses in order. Thus, quesadillas achieve a savory taste and a texture that reaches that perfect level of juiciness.
Maria is a passionate Mexican–American cook who loves to create delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine. She has been cooking since she was a young girl, learning traditional recipes from her grandmother. She loves to experiment with new flavors and to use local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. She enjoys introducing her guests to the flavors of her culture and sharing stories of the history of Mexican cuisine. Maria takes great pride in her cooking and loves to see how her food brings people together. She is always looking for ways to make her dishes even more delicious and inviting.