went stale


[toh-stah-duh; Sp. taws-tah-thah]
Tostada is a Spanish word translating to "toasted" in English and, in Latin American cuisine, refers to a flat tortilla that is toasted or deep fried. It also refers to the finished dish using a tostada. Corn tortillas are used more than ones made of wheat flour for this purpose.

The tostada was created when tortillas went stale but were still fresh enough to eat. Not wanting to waste old tortillas, which was one of the staple foods of the Mexican people, beans, rice, meat, cheese and vegetables were spread onto the tortillas like an "open faced" taco. This invention became very popular and people soon began to fry fresh tortillas to recreate the dish.

A tostada is often served as an appetizer typically topped with a thin layer of refried black bean paste (frijoles refritos), chicken or beef strips or other kinds of animal products. These are usually topped with thinly chopped lettuce strips, sour cream, chopped onion, salsa and guacamole or sliced avacados. As a general rule, due to the flat construction of the tostada, the main topping (i.e. bean paste or meat) must be sticky or pasty enough to stay on the tostada. This helps prevent the other toppings or garnishes from falling off while it's being eaten.

In addition to items typically used as taco fillings, tostadas are popular topped with seafood, such as tuna, shrimp, and ceviche. A tostada vegetariana is only topped with vegetables.

In Tex-Mex cuisine, tostadas are often referred to as tortilla chips and are also served as an appetizer or meal, without toppings, but with sauce or salsa for dipping.

In Cuban Cuisine, tostada refers to Cuban bread, cut lengthwise, buttered, and pressed. Typically tostada is served as a breakfast food and can be dipped in cafe con leche.

In Spain and Puerto Rico, it can mean a slice of toasted bread or a French toast, typical of Easter, consisting in milk-soaked bread, battered in egg and fried.

In Colombia, tostada refers to a green, unripe plantain which has been cut into sections, fried, flattened, fried again, and salted. These are also known as tostones in other parts of Latin America.

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