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Tortas and lonches
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-11-11 19:25:23 | Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico
Keywords: sandwich
Those are basically two names for what we know as sandwiches. They are very similar and can almost be interchanged without a problem... but just to be safe, order it with the name you see on the menu you're eating at. ´They are both essentially the same type of sandwiches, with the same possible fillings inside. The only difference that seems consistent is the type of bread used... and even then, there's at least one exception.

Above you see a picture of a torta, while right below you see a picture of a lonche. Some references say you will encounter the term “torta” mostly in centre of the country... but I've seen tortas in Chihuahua, which is right at the border with the USA. Here in Zacatecas, you will see both terms.

The main difference between the two terms seems to be the bread used. For the tortas, it's a larger circular bread, usually soft even when toasted on the plate. The lonches are usually made out of a crusty bread that is very hard. Both can come with a variety of fillings. In both cases, they usually remove the soft part of the bread in one of the halves, to yield room to the garnish.

Here are some of the most popular fillings you can have in your tortas and lonches.

  • Abodaba: marinated meat, often pork cutlets

  • Asada: BBQ meat, usually pork

  • Bisteck: beef steak

  • Chorizo: sausage meat, usually made with pork entrails but also with beel, chicken and turkey.

  • Guisado: stewed meat, usually beef

  • Huevos: eggs

  • Jamón: ham

  • Lomo: usually sliced pieces of beef, coming from the back part

  • Pastor: pork, cooked shawarma style

  • Pierna: shredded pork coming from the leg portion, cooked with red BBQ sauce.

  • Pollo: chicken

  • Queso: cheese

  • Salchicha: hot dog weiners, usually deep fried and then grilled

  • Tocino: bacon

Both will be served with lots of mayonaise, mustard, onions, tomato slices and lettuce. Another difference I've seen is that torta usually has a lot of avocado puree and no peppers inside (but served aside)... while the lonches have usually slices of avocado and some peppers inside the sandwich. But that difference is based on a limited sampling of sandwiches I ate myself so far.

Preferably, eat your tortas in small restaurants or in markets. It will cost between 20 to 35 pesos (US$1.50 to US$2.25) depending on the location.

You think you now master the differences? Meet the torta ahogonda from Guadalajara (picture below)... it's essentially a lonche, based on the bread used and presence of peppers inside, but called a torta. Proof that there are always exceptions to any rule :-)


Related posts:
Fries anyone?

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