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What Is Pambazo?

A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

Pambazo is a kind of bread popular in Mexico. This bread is commonly dipped in sauce and filled with various ingredients. It is a unique kind of culinary presentation common to parts of Mexico such as Puebla and Veracruz. To make the pambazo bread, cooks commonly use white flour, lard or fat, and sugar and salt as flavorings. A supply of water is needed to mix the dough. Some recipes may use different types of yeast for allowing the bread to rise. This bread is generally a white bread, not a wheat bread, and is made tough enough to stay together when it is dunked in a hot sauce, as is commonly done with this dish.

The sauce that the sandwiches are dunked in is often called guajillo after the type of peppers used. This hot pepper sauce commonly includes chili peppers, as well as onion and garlic. Some salt may also be added. The guajillo sauce gives the pambazo a colorful, and attractive exterior of a bright orange-red color.

Pambazo sandwiches often feature avocado slices.
Pambazo sandwiches often feature avocado slices.

In the most common sorts of pambazo sandwiches, the white bread is filled with a mix of foods. Common fillings include potatoes with chorizo sausage. Some recipes also call for chicken breast or other meat. In some cases, when Mexican vendors sell pambazo on certain Latin American holidays, such as the Lenten season, the pambazo may use shredded cheese instead of meat.

In addition to the above ingredients, some common additions apply to many of these types of sandwiches. Those making the sandwiches often include slices of avocado. Fresh onion may also be used.

Chili Peppers are often in the sauce in which pambazo is dunked.
Chili Peppers are often in the sauce in which pambazo is dunked.

Some cooks add a range of additional spices to the guajillo that cooks use on the sandwiches. Savories like cumin and oregano are common. Some cooks may also include sweeter spices like cloves and cinnamon. Another common one is allspice, where whole berries may be crushed in a mortar and pestle or otherwise processed.

Aside from the meat and savory fillings, the makers of these sandwiches often stuff them with other ingredients like lettuce and cilantro, an herb commonly used in Mexican cooking. All of these ingredients can make the sandwich rather messy and challenging to eat. Some cooks get around the issue of an overly messy sandwich by coating the roles with sauce as opposed to dunking the whole sandwich in the sauce. Fans of the dish point out that when the tougher bread, sometimes called pan basso, is made correctly, its inherent sturdiness helps it stand up to the sauce quite well.

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    • Pambazo sandwiches often feature avocado slices.
      By: Giuseppe Porzani
      Pambazo sandwiches often feature avocado slices.
    • Chili Peppers are often in the sauce in which pambazo is dunked.
      By: jolopes
      Chili Peppers are often in the sauce in which pambazo is dunked.