|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.
marinated meat, often pork cutlets
meat, usually pork
sausage meat, usually made with pork entrails but also with beel,
chicken and turkey.
stewed meat, usually beef
sliced pieces of beef, coming from the back part
cooked shawarma style
shredded pork coming from the leg portion, cooked with red BBQ
hot dog weiners, usually deep fried and then grilled
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 :-)