This is a rigua. It’s part of the wonderful array of typical Salvadorean food. Riguas are made out of a corn paste and sometimes have cheese curds in the mix that melt into the final product (this one did.) The awesome thing about riguas is their traditional way of cooking: the paste is spread on what is referred to as “hoja de huerta” (a banana leaf) and covered with another leaf, then put on a flat grill to be cooked. Once the paste hardens, the rigua is taken out of the leaf and cooked on the grill a bit longer, until it browns a bit on both sides (as shown.)
This particular rigua was bought just a block away from my boyfriend’s house. They are US$0.40 each and are fucking AMAZING. They have become my favourite afternoon snack, and my boyfriend and I get them hot off the grill and eat them while we walk back to his place.
These are the little things that make life wonderful. Cheap, delicious food that is cooked in its own traditional way by people who actually CARE and put love into what they create. I even talked to Mari, the woman who cooks them, today. She was filled with pride and happiness when I told her how much I loved her riguas. Her smile made my day. Walking down the street while eating a hot rigua wrapped in a paper napkin and an hoja de huerta is something so wonderful and it’s one of the things about this beautiful little country that I will never forget.