Repulgue – Empanada Folding Technique

Repulgue - Empanada Folding Technique Covered at Teresita's Cooking Class

Repulgue - Empanada Folding Technique Covered at Teresita's Cooking Class

One of the specialties of the Argentina cuisine is the empanadas. There are many varieties of this simple to make turnovers to satisfy all kind of preferences. In addition to “locro” and “tamales”, the empanadas take part on the typical and most traditional dishes of the northwestern part of the country. The filling, seasoning and condiments could change according to the different provinces where empanadas are made. The classic type of empanada is the one made of meat (chopped or ground beef, mild or hot, salty or sweet, with or without vegetables depending on the origin).

In Buenos Aires, the empanada offer is huge. It is possible to find more than twenty varieties of fillings. Therefore, there is a peculiar well to identify the same: the “repulgue” (type of folds).

Typical Beed empanada folding

Typical Beed empanada folding

The usual types besides the meat ones are: ham and cheese, and chicken, and each of them have a particular “repulgue” in order to identify it.  The common braided fold is used for the beef ones, and additional marks such as little holes on top or bended tips are to distinguish different meat options; the small baskets are used for the ham & cheese ones, and other types derived from this that also contain cheese (caprese, blue cheese, onion & cheese, and sweet corn, among others); while the ones pinched on top are typically the chicken ones. Sometimes, it is possible to order not only Argentinean empanadas but also Arabian ones, called Fatai, and this one in particular, has a triangle fold with a small hole in the middle so you can add lemon or hot sauce.

Together with the pizza, this is one of the most requested foods for delivery. For this purpose, the restaurants would send together with order a list of all the types with small drawings of the folds to identify each empanada. The particular “repulgue” used usually varies from one restaurant to another. Besides, since it is possible to order oven-baked or fried empanadas, some special folds are preferred to resist the heat of boiling oil and not open when the filling starts melting.

The “repulgues” can be made manually or with a special appliance, but for homemade empanadas there is a useful trick: after folding over the circle with contents, you can achieve a neat fold by crimping down the edges with a fork. Another important tip, is to stick the edges is to wet your finger with water and rub it along the inside edge of the dough.