Sopapillas are the light at the end of the Mexican food tunnel. They’re the finish line at the end of the race that we all strive to get to, no matter how fatigued we are after that Jumbo Burrito.
But did you know they actually don’t have Mexican origins? That’s right, amigos. They actually come not from Mexico, but from New Mexico.
So what is the story behind these deep-fried delicacies exactly?
The year was 1805, and a young Mexican tortilla saleswoman had fallen in love with an American baker in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One morning, while the baker, Phillip, was beginning the batter for a cinnamon-flavored cake, his Mexican lover, Sophia, entered his shop carrying a fresh batch of tortillas. Enamored with one another, they embraced in a loving kiss, but in the heat of the moment, Sophia dropped her batch of tortillas into the cinnamon batter. The two quickly saw what they had done, tasted it and knew they were on to something.
The two had inadvertently created a new New Mexican dessert that would change the world as we know it. They named them sopapillas, a combination of “Sophia” and “Phillip.” And this is how sopapillas came to exist.
JK. That’s not true at all. But wasn’t it a lovely story?!
Unfortunately the origins of the sopapilla are not well documented, but we can imagine, right?
They are thought to originate about 200 years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, so we got that part right at least.
Because anything “deep fried” is usually a New World thing, it’s believed sopapillas as we know them today (and like Fuzzy’s sopapilla chips) must have originated in the United States. However, many associate this sweet treat with the European and Middle Eastern food “sopaipa,” which refers to sweetened fried dough, or with the word “xopaipa,” which translates to bread soaked in oil. Perhaps it was a concept created in Europe but perfected in the US of A (like rock music and democracy).
Whatever the case, we’re happy it’s here and so are our guests. Perhaps one day we’ll learn the truth behind sopapillas. Until then, we’ll just enjoy this mysterious cinnamon-coated concoction and thank our lucky stars they came to be.
You can enjoy our take on sopapillas with our delicious sopapilla chips at a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop near you, all day, every day.