It’s a hangover dish. Or at least it seems like the dish was invented by a drunk. – Aaron Garcia, owner of Pialeadero de Guadalajara, Mexico City, June 2017
One of the reasons that Karen (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) decided we BBBabes should make Birotes Saladas this month was so we could make tortas ahogadas (drowned sandwiches).
Here is what David Norman and Bryan Ford have to say about the sandwiches:
They say the torta ahogada was invented by accident when a sandwich vendor dropped a carnitas-filled roll into a vat of tomato salsa. It is now ubiquitous in the market stalls, street cars, and restaurants of Mexico’s second largest city.
There are two sauces, one a flavorful but not spicy tomato sauce for “drowning” the sandwich, and a second made from arbol chiles, potent and fiery, used to cusomize the heat level. […] I read that a true Tapatio (a native of Guadalajar) supposedly can eat this sandwich by hand with only one napkin […] One important element in a torta ahogada is the refried beans used to coat the inside of the cut rolls. In Guadalajara, Mayocoba beans are treaditionally used […] [but, you] can use any variety except black beans.
– David Norman, Bread on the Table | Torta Ahogado – Sandwich from Gadalajara, p235
I find nothing more satisfying than recreating the unique breads of Latin America in my very own kitchen. I especially love when the bread is meant to be stuffed with savory fillings and drowned in spicy salsa—in Mexico, the torta ahogada is just that.
– Bryan Ford, New World Sourdough: Artisan Techniques for Creative Homemade Fremented Breads | Birote, p60
Hmmm. I find it difficult to believe that drowning the sandwich in tomato salsa wasn’t entirely by design. (continue reading )