mix of a soup dumpling and pot pie enjoyed on every street corner in Bolivia, to an American audience. Bolivians have enjoyed the salteña’s slightly sweet, crispy pastry and savory stew it contains for hundreds of years. Salteñas are extremely labor intensive to make and require practice to perfect the intricate roping that visually distinguishes salteñas from empanadas and similar meat pies. They take three days to make: on the first day we make the bone broth and vegan broth and peel and dice all the vegetables and proteins. On the second day the jigote (filling) and the dough are prepared, and on the third day we build the salteñas. Additional painstaking tasks include tracking down the unique ingredients and adapting the recipe from Bolivia’s high altitudes to Washington, DC, which is only about 400 feet above sea level. Saya Salteña also offers a variety of Bolivian staples such as “humintas” (pureed andrea corn, spices and singani), “Sandwich de Chola” (roasted pork shoulder topped with pickled carrots & red onions on brioche bun), “Pukacapa” (a spicy cheese empanada) and the classic beverage “Mocochinchi” (peach pit cider & spices) that is very popular during summer. DRN: What does the shared kitchen space mean to Saya Salteña and how has it helped expand your reach? SS: It’s all about location and the right partnership. I met the “soup ladies” back in Mess Hall, long before Prescription Chicken, and we kept in touch all this time. We reconnected a few months ago and the idea of joining them in this shared space was just the right fit. This location is central and convenient for deliveries; it also has great potential for walk-ins. So joining forces with Prescription Chicken as well as Astro Doughnuts is a great opportunity for us. The three companies offer quality products that complement each other. During this pandemic we all have to be extremely creative and make the best out of such difficult times, especially in the food/hospitality industry that has been hit so hard.
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