Last month I shopped the Sunday morning farmers market at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. I was delighted to see a stand selling freshly baked salteñas, the signature soup-filled empanadas of Bolivia.
The proprietress promised that these would be very soupy, and indeed they were. Despite my best efforts to hold the hot meat pie vertical and nibble from the top point, I still managed to splash my blouse. But that's a good thing, unless you're like the person who saw my mess and then asked for a refund on her order before tasting the salteñas.
We tried the regular beef, spicy beef, and vegetarian ones. The bready wrapper's slightly sweet with a golden brown crispness to the crust fading to a more tender inside. The regular beef was a bit too plain. I felt the spicy beef was more interesting. And my favorite turned out to be the vegetarian one, that's actually vegan and filled with potato, mushroom and jackfruit, giving it a very "meaty" flavor.
The deliciously drippy salteñas are $2.75 apiece. Two would be more than enough for a filling lunch for me. I was glad we had a stash of wet wipes in the car from our road trip to clean up afterwards.
Salteña Corner, (714) 317-9303, sells at other area farmers markets as well, and does delivery and catering.