“The house of the enchilada”, the historic place that saw the birth of the signature dish of San Luis Potosí

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The potosina enchilada is a small dish, but with a historical tradition. It has become the most representative culinary reference of San Luis Potosí, and its flavor has allowed the state to be recognized, not only in Mexico, but internationally.

Potosí enchiladas were created from a gastronomic accident in 1919 in what is now known as “The Enchilada House”, a humble residence located one block from Jardín Hidalgo, the main square of the municipality of Soledad de Graciano Sánchez.

María del Carmen Moreno, current owner of the place and family business, told EL UNIVERSAL San Luis Potosí that the origin of the dish occurred one day when her grandmother, Mrs. Cristina Jalomo, accidentally threw a sauce on the dough with which she was going to make tortillas by hand.

In order not to repeat the process, Mrs. Cristina chose to mix the tomato sauce with serrano chili and the dough, then she made smaller tortillas than the normal size ones and decided to fill them with goat cheese, known as saltierra and which is produced in the communities and ranches of Soledad de Graciano Sánchez.

Once they perfected the technique to seal the enchiladitas, with the aim that when frying them the cheese filling would not come out, Mrs. Cristina began to sell them and little by little the clientele grew within the municipality, until they spread worldwide.

“People realized how those quesadillas were made and started buying them. My grandmother made them in the morning at home and in the afternoons she sold them in the plaza, under a leafy tree that used to be there. She took her dough pot, her bracero with charcoal, her dough pot with butter to fry them, brown paper and an onion to chop,” María del Carmen Moreno explained.

From starting with curious people who wanted to try the quesadillas, which over time were called “Enchiladas Potosinas”, Cristina Jalomo had long lines of people who bought her enchiladas as they fell in love with the culinary creation.

After more than 10 years of selling in the main square, due to her advanced age, her children and grandchildren no longer let Mrs. Cristina go to sell in the square, so the business moved to her house located at number 117 on Hidalgo Street, in the Soledense municipality, a place where her grandchildren and great-grandchildren still sell her creation.

In this place, which currently has a historical plaque that recognizes it as “The House of the Enchilada”, the establishment where Potosí enchiladas were born, the way in which enchiladas are served today was also devised: with beans and cueritos.

“At home she began to make and fry them, people saw her beans from the pot (for family consumption) and told her, give me a few beans, that’s how she started. Later they asked her for cueritos, for pickled legs, for fried beans, but that was later,” said Cristina Jalomo’s granddaughter.

The tradition at number 117 Hidalgo de Soledad de Graciano Sánchez street has been preserved for nearly 80 years, as Cristina Jalomo’s relatives, such as her granddaughter

María del Carmen Moreno, have been in charge of preserving the seasoning and marketing of the original Potosí enchiladas.

“I was born there and grew up in enchiladas, I got up and enchiladas, I went to bed and enchiladas; I ate, had dinner and had enchiladas for lunch that we really like, we have more than 80 years of tradition,” she said.

María del Carmen Moreno added that for her, her brothers, children and nephews it is a great pride to be able to preserve what her grandmother did in life, since they have received artists such as: the late Óscar Chávez, Amalia Mendoza, Los panchos, Don Pedro Vargas, María Victoria.

As well as international visitors who take packages of enchiladas to their countries and even a President of the Republic who sent a private plane to San Luis Potosí, just to eat Potosí enchiladas.

“It represents a lot of pride. When the enchiladas came out in the lottery box, you can imagine what emotion it gave us, we are also excited, you know how happy it would have been for her to have lived that experience,” she expressed.

For a month now the doors of the house where the enchilada was born have been temporarily closed, as works are being carried out to improve the experience for customers, so that the original potosina enchilada can continue to catapult San Luis Potosí in everyone and Mrs. Cristina’s seasoning will continue to be present for many more years.

Source: El Universal