Vendor Spotlight: Yapa Artisan Empanadas

“Yapa” means what is given without any obligation, a gift. The term has Mapuche and Quechua roots and in Andean markets it is still customary to ask for a yapa when making a purchase. The seller usually responds by throwing in a little extra. Growing up in Chile, Polo Valdes, the founder of Yapa Empanadas, ate empanadas every Sunday. When he settled in Texas with his wife, he started cooking the nostalgic Chilean plates of his country for his budding family and new Texas friends. He experimented with fillings and mastered the dough. The dough can’t be too dry or too greasy, and the filling can’t be lacking in flavor and must be generous in portion. Polo’s goal was to recreate the classic empanadas that he enjoyed growing up, as well as reflect the new culinary flavors he experienced in Texas. Now all Central Texans can enjoy the flavors of Polo’s Chilean childhood by visiting his booth at the market. Get your fill of empanadas every weekend at Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline and Mueller!

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