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The Curse of the Black Pearl – La Paula

by Simon on March 12, 2009

A Chilean work colleague recently introduced me to empanadas from La Paula; parcels of wonderfully robust pastry encasing a hearty, savory filling. Oh so good! So the next time there was a lunch run to La Paula, I just had to get my hands on some of these gastronomic goodies.

Spot the reference? Kudos, as well as being a major geek! :P

Clockwise from the left, they are beef, chicken and cheese empanadas. The meat based ones are baked while the cheese one was fried.

I figure that if I’m going to be serious about food blogging, there will be one of those moments when sacrifices will need to be made for the good of the blog. This was my first one of those moments.

Ever had something that you’ve been really wanted to eat handed to you at its near prime? The gentle warmth and the seductive aroma, an alluring siren’s song; a curse on the senses beckoning-

No!

Reluctantly, the empanada was placed back into its carry tray to await their ride home to their fame and my fortune. What a torturous afternoon and ride home that was! Next time I’m buying some for me as well as the blog.

Cross section of the chicken empanada.

The chicken empanada tasted pretty good. It had a subtle sweetness to it which was a little unusual at first but something I quickly warmed to. Encased within lies a hidden treasure of a single black olive, which provides a bold flavour contrast to the otherwise mellow filling.

Cross section of the beef empanada.

The beef empanada was by far and away the best of the lot. The succulent and robust meat filling worked so well with the bread-like pastry. The glistening black pearl of an olive, though once again distinct, offered its contrast with a sharp, vinegar flavour.

Unfortunately, no pictures of the cheese empanada. As these pictures were taken while they had gone cold (*sob*), I figure that the cross section of congealed cheese, no matter how nice it may have been, wouldn’t been all that appetising to see. Also, by the time I was done shooting the other two, I’d eaten most of my way through it’s smooth, cheesy, albeit congealed, goodness.

If I ever have the opportunity to visit La Paula, I’ll make sure to take some photos. To tide you over in the meantime, have a read over NQN’s account of the store and its fine wares.

La Paula
118 Gardeners Rd, Kingsford
(02) 9663 1041

Trading Hours
Thur – Sun: 9am – 4pm

La Paula on Urbanspoon

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

lili - pikelet & pie March 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Oh, next time buy two! One for now, one for later :) Makes the photographing easier too, less shaking and trembling while waiting for the deliciousness.

Reply

Simon March 13, 2009 at 2:53 am

Hi Lili!

Are the pictures that out of focus?

Yep, I have that jotted down as a mental note for the future :)

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Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella March 13, 2009 at 6:32 am

Oh yes that beef empanada is great! I wish they were open a bit more and also that I lived closer to them!

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Simon March 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

Hi Lorraine!

Yeah, it’d be great if they’d home delivered too :)

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smileona March 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm

First of all awesome photos! making me drool that i’ll need a bucket soon LOL.

Secondlyyyy cant believe this is hidden treasure around my area that i never knew of! Actually i never drive along gardeners road but I have a fair idea where this is located.

love how you captured these empanz! I’ve only had small ones at spanish restaurants but nothing as gourmet as this!

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Arwen from Hoglet K March 13, 2009 at 10:18 pm

My friend loves empanadas. I’ll have to tell her about this place. I love the olive surprise inside!

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chuck March 14, 2009 at 5:08 am

Simon, these sound wonderful. I think I could eat a tray of those empanadas right now! Yummy!

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jesse March 15, 2009 at 1:47 am

Wonderful pictures and accompanying descriptions! That particular picture of the beef empanada… mmmm!

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FFichiban March 15, 2009 at 7:05 am

Oh noooooo, no cheese photo :( but the other 2 look really really good mmmmm

I wish they were closer though haha

Reply

Simon March 16, 2009 at 3:02 am

Hi smileona! I’m glad to hear that you were made aware of a “hidden treasure” in your area. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to happen to me while reading foodie resources.

Though the photo may look fancy (I use that term very loosely), they’re more rustic than they appear. Thanks for the complement :)

Hi Arwen! The olive adds an element of interest, especially when you’re not aware that it’s there. Chilean empanadas typically go one step further by adding something other than an olive but I’ll leave that to be your surprise if you ever encounter one :)

Hi Chuck! I don’t know how they compare to ones that you may have access to but these ones are nice in my very limited experience of empanadas. Thanks for the comment :)

Hi Jesse! Very much so & thanks! I assure you that it wasn't around much long after the pics were done :)

FFichiban Believe me, it’s not all that pretty. For me it was like, “ahh, yeah. next…”. Maybe your reaction would have been the more Homer-esque “mmm… congealed”.

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