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A "sincronizada", cut into wedges.
A quesadilla ( , usually anglicized as ) is a Mexican snack food made of cheese (and occasionally other ingredients) on a folded corn or wheat tortilla and cooked until the cheese melts. The word comes from Spanish, and literally means "cheese tortilla".

In other countries, quesadillas may be an unrelated cheese-based food.

Ingredients

Exactly what constitutes a quesadilla varies from region to region and between the U.S.marker and Mexicomarker and is not universally agreed upon by chefs. However, it is generally agreed that the quesadilla is cooked after being filled or stuffed with the cheese. Variations in which the quesadilla is stuffed with additional ingredients sometimes are incorrectly named burritos; while a taco or burrito is filled with pre-cooked ingredients, as are some variations of the quesadilla, the additions are mostly different. Also, the quesadilla is folded and not wrapped.

The purist faction may argue that only the folded-style Mexican version is a "real" quesadilla, although some chefs such as Rick Bayless have made more liberal "interpretations" .

Also, there is the American naming of quesadilla not just to the folded Mexican "quesadilla" but to the Mexican "sincronizada".

Types

Corn tortilla based cheese tacos

A corn tortilla is heated on a griddle, then flipped and sprinkled with grated melting cheese (queso quesadilla) such as Monterey Jack. Once the cheese melts, other ingredients such as shredded meat or guacamole may be added, and it is folded and served

Wheat tortilla based grilled cheese sandwiches

Cheese and other ingredients are sandwiched between two flour tortillas, and the whole package is grilled on an oiled griddle and flipped so both sides are cooked and the cheese is melted. This version is often cut into wedges to serve. A home appliance "quesadilla maker" is sold to produce this kind of quesadilla, although it does not use oil and cooks both sides at once. This type is often called "sincronizada" in Mexico.

The Mexican quesadilla

Portions of following have been paraphrased from the article Quesadilla in the Spanish Wikipedia:

In most regions of Mexico, a quesadilla is a circle of cooked corn masa, called a "tortilla", folded in half and filled with cheese, then cooked until the cheese has melted. However, variations include the use of wheat flour tortillas, especially in the northeast part of Mexico, which are more like cheese tacos found in the U.S. Wheat dough is most commonly used in place of corn masa. Wheat tortillas are also used to make a gringa, which is a cross of a taco al pastor and a quesadilla.

While cheese is the most common filling, other ingredients are also used in traditional Mexican quesadillas, including cooked vegetables, mushrooms, and meat.

Mexican quesadillas are cooked in a comal, but quesadillas can be deep fried in oil ("fritas") resulting in fried cheese tacos.

The Salvadoran Quesadilla

The Salvadoran quesadilla is not like a Mexican quesadilla. A Salvadoran quesadilla is a type of bread.

The Venezuelan Quesadilla

Venezuelans often stuff an arepa with various things and produce a dish that is roughly similar to a quesadilla. The actual arepa is more like a gordita than a tortilla.

Variations

Quesadillas can be stuffed with ingredients other than just cheese. Fillings may include: pumpkin flower, sausage, chicken, carne asada, ham, refried beans, maple syrup, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, raw eggs, scrambled eggs, hamburger, yak, shrimp, bacon, etc. Salsas may also be added.

The sincronizada (Spanish for "synchronized") is a tortilla dish frequently confused with quesadillas by tourists, as it is what is typically called a quesadilla in most Mexican restaurants outside of México. Sincronizadas are made with a flour tortilla covered with cheese and then covered with another flour tortilla. Like regular quesadillas, other ingredients may be added such as roasted beef, ham, or chorizo.

A "special quesadilla" is a quesadilla deep-fried in oil to a golden puff that originated in the Imperial Valleymarker of southern California.

Delivery Services

Recently, some companies have begun delivering quesadillas as an alternative to pizza. Similar to pizza, quesadillas can feed a large number of people at reasonable costs and with little mess. Quesadilla delivery restaurants exist in North Carolina and Texas, such as Queso-D-Ya's in Dallas.


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