What Is Quesadilla Salvadoreña And What Does It Taste Like?

Everybody knows what a quesadilla is. Cheesy goodness in a tortilla, maybe with some rice, beans, chicken, or steak. So a quesadilla Salvadoreña has to just be some kind of basic variant from El Salvador, right? Nope! This Salvadoran treat is a quesadilla in name only. According to 196 Flavors, the quesadilla Salvadoreña is actually more akin to a pound cake than to its Mexican namesake.

The quesadilla Salvadoreña is traditionally a soft, bready cake made from three common, local ingredients — queso duro blando, sesame seeds, and rice flour. Queso duro blando is a white, salty cheese that, fortunately for Salvadorans, is found all over the country (via 196 Flavors). Finding it abroad may be a little more challenging, which is why a lot of people will substitute this cheese with other hard, salty cheeses like parmesan (via Allrecipes). So while it may sound easy to make, it's hard to find many people outside of El Salvador who really know what this cheesy cake actually tastes like.

When and how quesadilla Salvadoreña is typically eaten

Curious Cuisiniere explains that quesadilla Salvadoreña is also referred to as a "sweet cheese pound cake." It's sweet, it's light, and it has the saltiness that comes with the queso duro blando. It's no wonder why they're such a popular treat in El Salvador. The quesadilla Salvadoreña, in fact, tends to be eaten as either a breakfast food or a little snack you can bring from home or pick up at the marketplace (via 196 Flavors).

Since it's such a simple treat to make, it seems Salvadorans have broken with tradition and instead of leaving their quesadilla Salvadoreñas to rest overnight, like in the old days, a lot of people have taken to digging in as soon as it cools (via Curious Cuisiniere). And who could blame them? Imagine biting into something with the sweetness that one usually associates with cake, plus the saltiness of cheese. Then add the lightness of pound cake to the equation. It's like getting the best of all these worlds without even feeling guilty about it.