Oh, to be an Empanada Lady

If the economy goes (further) south, I’m out a job and it’s time to drum up the money, I want to take up a big basket, cover it with a cloth and sell empanadas on the street corner. When I lived in South America you couldn’t avoid the empanadas if you tried. In Peru if the bus so much as slowed down, on jumped a little old lady with a basket full of oven (or fryer) warmed half moons, filled with some sort of deliciousness, be it meat, potatoes or cheese.

There is something so coddling, so comforting about a nice woman, passing you one of these little pockets of food. Something even more comforting about the actual eating of it. As you bite through the crisp yet chewy outer layer, it gives way to the piping hot fillings within. Along with all of the benefits of an empanada, the price is especially enticing. In an economy like this, low end, cheaply made food like an empanada would sell like hot cakes. Or, well, you know, empanadas.

Imagine it now, you are hungry, you’ve got a cold recession sandwich of dingy ham on cheap bread when suddenly, from the street below you smell a lightly wafting scent of fresh empanadas. I take my tongs and gently lift one out to a waiting hand as they slip a dollar in my apron pocket. Look back at your sandwich. One measly dollar, and that empanada’s all yours.

I’ll wander the streets of downtown, basket on my hip, running from the authorities and pleasing palates all over town. I can imagine it now. Angry Vietnamese Sandwich shop owners chasing behind, angry at their loss of business.

So for now, I’ll keep my day job, but when the bottom drops out, look for me, with a steaming basket and a big grin, unloading empanadas to my smiling fans.