Last night Suegra made pupusas for dinner. We all sat down at the table and began to eat. I watched my oldest son pick one up in his hands and start munching on it as if it were a cookie.
This is not how you eat a pupusa and it annoyed me greatly. I instructed him to put it down on his plate, pull it open, and eat it with curtido* properly.
Being almost 12 years old, he rolled his eyes but did as I told him, all the while mumbling to himself, “I don’t even like curtido… cabbage and vinegar…two things I hate…especially vinegar…”
I told him that if he ever wanted to go back to visit El Salvador, (he only went once as an infant), he would have to eat pupusas properly or everyone would laugh at him. He considered this for a second and then said something that cemented in reality that he is irrevocably gringo in some ways:
“Well, if we go to a restaurant in El Salvador and we order pupusas, I can always order the curtido light on the vinegar, right?”
* Curtido in El Salvador is a lightly fermented cabbage salad which is served with pupusas. Curtido is made in large batches and kept in jars. It is not something that can be “made to order” under most circumstances.