Well, here we are. We’ve arrived at “Honduran Baleadas!” Over the past few weeks we’ve been working our way up to this recipe and now it’s finally here. This recipe is rather simple now that we’ve completed the Homemade Flour Tortillas, the Red Beans, and the Refried Beans. In fact, it is not a “recipe” in the traditional sense of the word, but rather a fusion of the previous three recipes.
The baleada is famous throughout the country of Honduras and has become well-known internationally. I like to call it “the crown jewel” in Honduran cuisine because you can eat a baleada for any meal. They make an excellent breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. Adults love them, kids love them, and visitors to the country who try them, love them. The fact that baleadas are very cheap — costing only around 50 cents each — have made their popularity explode! To the point where if you say “Honduras” you think: “Baleadas!”
The Baleada originated in the city of La Ceiba, located on the north coast of Honduras, over 50 years. According to an interview with Doña Tere seen here, the lady who claims to be responsible for this marvel in Honduran gastronomy, this is how the story goes:
Back in 1964, homemade flour tortillas became popular in the La Ceiba region, as opposed to the corn variety. Also during that time, the railroads were the center of commerce because the Standard Fruit Company — who exported bananas from Honduras to the US – had a small railway to transport workers from the town to the plantations. Doña Tere, a young single mother, set-up a small food stand next to the railroads in the town. And because of their popularity and practicality, she decided to make flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. And as her mother had shown her growing up, Doña Tere made flour tortillas, smeared with mashed refried beans, white butter, and sprinkled with Honduran white cheese. Then she sold them to late-night party goers on their way home. Later on, some of her regular patrons asked her where she got the name “Baleada.” She told them that the tortilla was the shell, the beans were the bullets, and the cheese was the gunpowder. Thus the name “Baleada” was coined. (Source: hondurastips.hn)
It’s a sordid tale, I know, but that’s how the story goes!
Steps in Making Baleadas
Once you have these two recipes made, it’s time to assemble the baleada!
Begin with one homemade flour tortilla.
Then smear a layer of refried beans down the center.
Some people will do a very thin layer of beans, but this all depends on how thick or watery your refried beans are.
Next, place a dollop Honduran white cream “mantequilla blanco” in the center. (Substitute with Sour Cream if you don’t have access to this.)
Then sprinkle Honduran hard white cheese “queso duro” down the center. (Good substitute: Feta Cheese!)
Lastly, fold in half.
And there you have it —Honduran Baleadas!
Over the years baleadas have morphed into various types. What you’ve seen here is called the simple baleada or “Baleada Sencilla.” But you can make more complex baleadas called “Baleada Preparadas” which include eggs and avocado. The “Super Preparadas” include eggs, avocado, and a type meat such as sausage or chorizo. Like these!
Watch the Honduran Baleadas Recipe Video
Baleadas are the crown jewel in Honduran Cuisine!
- 1 ea Flour Tortilla Homemade
- 2 tbsp Refried Beans
- 1 tsp. Honduran white butter Sour Cream
- 1 tsp. Honduran hard white cheese Feta Cheese
- Begin by making refried beans.
- Then make flour tortillas according to this recipe.
- Smear a layer of beans down the center of tortilla.
- Place a dollop Honduran white butter (Sour Cream) and spread over beans.
- Sprinkle with crumbled Honduran white cheese (Feta Cheese).
- Fold in half.