When I wandered past Fritzie's bakery on Roosevelt Ave in Woodside the other day, it looked so cute that I just had to go in. The man behind the counter was very friendly as I asked him what various things were in steam boxes and on the counter. There were chicken buns, a delicious looking steam table, and pastries that definitely merit a closer look. I spotted some empanada-shaped things wrapped in paper, neatly lined up on top of the display case. "Are those empanadas?" I asked. "Chicken", he replied. Sold! I've never had an empanada from the Phillipines before. Mexican, Argentinian, Columbian, Paraguayan, Uruguayan, I've had. I've made my own. I've had turnovers and beef patties and all sorts of things. If it's wrapped in pastry I like it, so how could I resist?
I was informed as I shopped that Fritzie's has been open since last week. The staff seemed so happy to see people, even annoying people who asked lots of questions. Was I wrong to ask if there was a sauce to go with the empanada? The very patient counter-person said that they didn't have sauce...yet. I'm not sure what that means but I guess I should have known better.
I carried the snack home, where I heat it up and split it with José, who I will introduce now, as I am sure he will play a large part in most of my posts, as my husband. It looked great. the crust was flaky, there were bits of chicken and vegetables, raisins, and even some hard-boiled egg. It was tasty and fresh. And yet, there is a yet, the dough was much sweeter than I expected. I did some research on recipes to see if that was traditional, and the best I came up with is that it is in some areas, but not others. The quote of the day, if I may quote Wikipedia is "some Filipinos are not partial to the sweetish flavour notes and prefer empanadas that are closer to the Hispanic versions". If I were Filipina I would be one of those, as would my husband, who asked me why I forgot the sauce. Here I was, walking around on this earth thinking I knew enough about empanadas to live a happy and full life. I was so, so wrong. As for Fritzie's, I can't wait to go back and try the lechon, yes, lechon!, that they sell per pound.
Fritzie’s Bake Shop
69-10 Roosevelt Ave