A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 15, 2007
Panuchos

Panuchos (corn tortillas with beans and meat) are more Mexican (Yucatan) than Tex-Mex, but they’re slowing arriving the in the United States. President George Bush ate panuchos in a March 2007 visit to Mexico.


Glossary - Mexican food recipes, cooking terms
Panuchos This specialty from the Yucatan is made by peeling back the thin skin that puffs from the tortilla as it cooks, filling it, sandwich style, with fried black beans and shredded meat, then frying it to a golden brown. It is then topped with shredded meat.

Yucatan Cuisine
PANUCHOS AND SALBUTES
Pre-cooked tortilla with shredded chicken and garnished with lettuce and onion. The difference between panuchos and salbutes is that the first has refried beans inside the tortilla.

Wikipedia: Mérida, Yucatán
Yucatecan food is its own unique style, different from the rest of Mexico in many ways. It includes influences from the local Mayan culture, and Caribbean, Mexican and European, and Middle Eastern cultures.

There are many regional dishes. Some of them are:
(...)
Salbutes and Panuchos. Salbutes are soft, cooked tortillas with lettuce, tomato, turkey and avocado on top while panuchos are pretty much the same, with the difference mainly in the crunchy tortilla with a spread of refried beans inside the tortilla. Habanero peppers accompany most dishes, either in solid or purée form, along with fresh limes and corn tortillas.

29 April 1957, The Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica), pg. 8, col. 7:
This corn dough is used for tortillas, enchiladas, garnaches, panades, panuchos and many other Spanish foods in the same way as flour dough is used for pies, rolls, etc.

10 March 1960, Newark (OH) Advocate, pg. 25, col. 3:
The panuchos (bean and meat pies with cornmeal crust) and roast suckling pig are justly the pride of Yucatan.

29 October 1961, Pasadena (CA) Independent Star-Newws, pg. B5, col. 1:
We ordered panuchos to eat with them. They are based on tiny tortillas not much bigger in diameter than a water glass. Refried beans, slivers of sliced sweet onion and other savory bites are piled on top.

Google Groups: rec.travel
Newsgroups: rec.travel
From: (shahrukh.s.merchant)
Date: 15 Jan 91 22:34:17 GMT
Local: Tues, Jan 15 1991 6:34 pm
Subject: An enjoyable trip to the Cancun area (incl. Merida, Yucatan) (long)

VALLADOLID/DZITNUP:  Valladolid is a town that probably has more to offer than we availed of; we only used it as a convenient stopping point between Cancun and Chichen Itza.  On the main square is a restaurant area, comprising an open-air courtyard seating area, surrounded by many small (and competing) restaurants serving snacks and meals.  Pick your favourite and have the delicious “Panuchos” (an open-faced soft corn tortilla topped with chicken or pork, onions, tomatoes, salsa).

21 February 1994, Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, “CookTalk,” A la Carte section, pg. 4, col. 2:
Panucho: A stuffed, fried tortilla. 

Google Books
A Cook’s Tour of Mexico:
Authentic Recipes from the Country’s Best Open-Air Markets, City Fondas, and Home Kitchens
by Nancy Zaslavsky
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
1995
Pg. 310:
Rosario Chavez’s
Panuchos Crisp Tortillas with Black Beans and Garnishes
MERIDA AND VALLADOLID’S MARKET FONDAS ARE PRIME SOURCES for Yucatan’s favorite snack. Panuchos are enjoyed all day long with, or without, meat toppings. My friend Rosario says, “There are rich and poor panuchos—those with meat and lettuce piled high, and simple bean-filled tortillas for those one-peso days.” Rich or poor, these are scrumptious.
(...)
8 corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter and on the thick side
1 cup “Frijoles Negros Yucatecos” (page 250), the paste should be warm
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 habanero chiles, halved (...)

Houston (TX) Press
Mexico City Tex-Mex
What is Las Llardas’s little secret?
By Robb Walsh
Published: September 4, 2003
(...)
And panuchos turn out to be Mexico City’s name for gorditas. In the Mexican capital they use the name gordita for a larger version of the same thing, we are told.

South Bay Tex-Mex? (Chowhound.com)
Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant on Geary serves panuchos on Monday night.

It may be on the specials insert or may not be on the menu at all, I don’t remember. But many regular customers come specificly for that dish - my husband is one of them. Sometimes he just start chanting “Panuchos, Panuchos, Panuchos” and I know where we’ll be soon.

I haven’t had them at the source (in the Yucatan) but that’s where the Bermejo family is from so I suspect they bear some resemblance to the original.
Pssst Nov 02, 2005 07:34PM

re: Pssst
Thank you for the recommendation of Tommy’s! The reviews on the Web are spotty, and it’s a *long* way from where I live, especially for a work night (Mondays only for panuchos ), but it would be worth it if I’m up in the city for some other event.

The panuchos I remember so fondly from Azul y Oro in Merida were two round tostada chips pinched together all around the edge and stuffed with black beans (kind of a Mexican version of round ravioli), topped with a slice of ripe tomato, a few rings of sweet marinated red onion, and some chicken breast that was moist and flavorful. It was absolutely divine, as evidenced by the fact that I ate them 30 years ago and the memory is still fresh for me.

Regards,
Dan
Dan Henderson Nov 03, 2005 02:18PM

New York Times
Published: March 15, 2007
But in Mexico, Mr. Bush seems to have finally had his fill. Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, opened the one full-fledged news briefing he gave during the entire trip by explaining Mr. Bush’s lunch menu on Tuesday: “Three panuchos: These are corn tortillas filled with refried beans — actually, sort of layered, not ‘filled,’ your flat, round tortillas, not great, big tortillas — with pork, turkey and roast chicken.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, March 15, 2007 • Permalink