The paste is a traditional dish of Real del Monte, municipality of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, which although it seems simple and practical, has a history and a reason.
Its origin dates back to the mining era of Real del Monte, which around the year 1826 had a new boom with the arrival of a drilling company from Cornwall, UK, where a similar product called cornish pasty. It is said that the practicality to eat it made the miners position this dish, since they did not need to wash their hands, since they only took it from the shore and when they finished the filling, they could get rid of it.
It was from this introduction that it underwent adaptations until it became a traditional food that is promoted in Mineral del Monte, but also in Pachuca, capital of the state of Hidalgo, which is very close.
Its similarity to empanadas makes it seem like there is no difference, but apart from having a specific filling, the difference between a paste and an empanada is that the filling of the former is placed raw on the dough And it goes like this to bake until it is ready; while the filling of an empanada is usually cooked before entering the oven, added to the fact that the empanadas can also be fried, while the paste cannot.
The traditional filling of this dish is based on potato, ground beef, chili, onion, pepper and salt; although currently the flavors have diversified and we can find pastes filled with green mole, red mole, beans or sausage, which have also become the most requested; However, with the proliferation of new brands, we now find stuffed esquites or mushrooms, and in this way the list grows, as well as the types of dough, which range from the simplest to puff pastry.
The practicality and how cheap this food is makes it a favorite among locals and foreigners, so there are dozens of pastries deployed both in Real del Monte and in Pachuca and its surroundings.
So iconic that it has its own festival and museum
Since 2009, Mineral del Monte, or better known as Real del Monte, has held a three-day festival with a gastronomic theme focused on this dish: el International Paste Festival.
In this festival that only in 2019 managed to gather 65 thousand visitors, the largest cake in the world is also prepared, which beats its own record every time it can, the last prepared -also in 2019- weighed about 180 kilograms and measured almost four meters.
Also, to the attractions around this meal is added the Paste Museum, which was inaugurated three years after the first festival around this theme, that is, in 2012. This space is almost at the entrance of the Pueblo Mágico and tells the history and details of this dish that unites Mexican culture with the English.