New food trend hits SA - the wholesome and hearty empanada

Emapanadas are delicious baby pizza fold-overs and taking SA by storm.

by: Caro de Waal | 09 Sep 2013

Have you tried one? An empanada? They are really good.


It is believed that the humble empanada originated in medieval Iberia at the time of the Moorish invasion (like the Italian calzone, empanadas are essentially a modification of the Arabic samoosa) and they were then carried to Latin America by Spanish colonisers. They then crossed the Atlantic to South America, a continent now world renowned for its empanadas.

Coming to SA

Although over the last 10 years or so empanadas have quietly become a global food phenomenon, they were still little known in South Africa.

In 2012 Pierce and his Argentine wife Valeria decided it was time to show South Africans what they were missing. Como (Spanish for ‘I eat’) was born with the goal of bringing friends together around simple, wholesome and tasty convenience food.  

Right from the start Como’s empanadas were to be an honest food and so inspiration from Buenos Aires was combined with fresh, local ingredients. A special empanada pastry was developed and combined with 9 different gourmet fillings (ham & mozzarella and spinach & mushroom to chicken & chorizo and butternut & blue cheese, braised beef and more) - yum!

Supe thin pizza-like pastry

From a culinary point of view, it’s the thin, almost pizza like, pastry combined with wholesome, quirky fillings that makes Como’s empanadas unique.  However they really come in to their own when shared.  Como’s empanadas have been made with social occasions and good times in mind, so next time you have friends dropping by make sure you have some empanadas ready to pop in the oven, open a bottle of red wine and let the fun begin.

Good stuff inside

The pastry is sheeted to 1mm thickness (1mm!) to ensure you get a mouth full of the filling within and not just an abundance of pastry. 

What I really like is that they take pride in their ingredients - fresh vegetables, free range chicken and eggs, real beef, fresh herbs, they only use quality ingredients sourced from reputable suppliers.  *high 5 Como guys*

My empanada experience

I ordered a box of 24 (R240) online and mixed 4 flavours of 6 each, a seamless and painless exercise delivered to my door within a day. Pop them in the freezer and pull them out when you need them.

They are really delicious, the crust is super thin, there is a lot of filling and my kids absolutely adored them. They're a great un-processed, healthy meal for them and the flavour is top notch. I recommend them with my whole heart! Although do make extra as you will end up eating half of your child's food like me.

I also wowed some friends who dropped in by whipping up a platter of gorgeous little emapanadas and some napkins - yehaa, no cutlery. Hey, all I had to do was shove the glorious little pastry bundles in the oven for 20 mins. Easy peasy pie.

They could also upgrade your pizza night - why not go for empanada night!

Have you tried empanadas?

For more information visit: or e-mail:

- Caro de Waal

Read more on: pizza  |  recipes

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