40 Cooks in El Salvador Make World’s Largest Pupusa: 18 Feet in Diameter

LA PAZ, EL SALVADOR - NOVEMBER 13: Salvadoran cooks poses for a photo with the most gigantic pupusa in the world, during the 18th Festival of the Pupusa in the municipality of Olocuilta in La Paz, El Salvador, on November 13, 2022. Since 2005, the "National Pupusa Day" is celebrated …
Alex Pena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A group of 40 cooks in the small town of Olocuilta, El Salvador, this month made an 18-foot-wide pupusa, a traditional stuffed corn patty, breaking the record for the world’s largest ever.

The cooks debuted the dish on November 13 in honor of National Pupusa Day, which Salvadorans celebrate every second Sunday of November since it was established by legislative decree in 2005, according to La Prensa Grafica.

A pupusa is a round patty made of corn flour and stuffed with a variety of fillings, most commonly mixed cheese and pork. Other common stuffings include beans, chicken, shrimp, and loroco, a flower commonly eaten in Central America. Pupusas are typically eaten with hot sauce and curtido, “a delicious cabbage slaw made of mixture [sic] of apple cider vinegar, red onion, carrots and boiling water,” USA Today noted.

According to one Los Angeles-based pupusería, Las Cazuelas, the dish originated among indigenous Salvadoran tribes around 2,000 years ago. The dish became internationally known after Salvadorans immigrated to various nations around the world in the later part of the 20th century.

The giant tortilla was made in the municipality of Olocuilta, known as “the cradle of rice pupusas.” The city broke its own record this year after it baked a 14.9-foot pupusa in November 2015, which Guinness World Records recognized.

The chefs started prepping the dish on Friday so that it could be ready by Sunday, according to one person who was involved in the baking process.

The exact ingredients used in the 18-foot pupusa included “500 pounds of flour, 400 pounds of beans, 250 pounds of cheese, and 250 pounds of chicharrón.”

The massive tortilla was baked over a fire pit before locals ate it as part of the day’s celebrations.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.

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