A Day in the Life of a Gordita Street Vendor
Part 1 -- Cooking

This is the story of Jesús and Olivia who operate a street stand selling gorditas six days a week, with the help of their three children on Saturdays and school holidays.

Karla, the older daughter, is one of my English students.

The day begins at 4:30 AM when they arise to begin preparations for the day's business.  My camera and I arrived at 5:00 -- almost awake.

Today they will be making seven fillings for the gorditas:

Two kinds of potatoes, one each with red and green chiles,

Frijoles (refried beans),


Scrambled eggs,


Requesón (cottage cheese)

Jesús does most of the cooking with backup by Olivia.

Karla cracked eggs while her mother made red and green table salsas.

Some of the prep work was done last night -- dicing potatoes, chopping chicharrones, roasting chiles, etc.  So the cooking could began a few minutes before 5:00AM.

The cooking was almost all done when the masa man arrived with 18 kilos (40 pounds) of masa -- enough to make 300 gorditas.  They make 400 on Saturdays.

A heavy steel plate is laid over the stove top to form a comal.

Olivia prepares the dough by kneading and adding water to the masa to make it a little softer.

She uses a metal tortilla press to prepare the gordita shells.

When the shells begin the puff up, Jesús opens them with a knife and lays them on a clean cloth to cool before Karla begins filling them.  As each gordita is filled, it is stacked in a plastic box, sorted by kind.

Mom helps to speed up the filling.

300 gorditas fill six boxes which Olivia loads atop their SUV for transport to the stand. Two jugs of salsa and a variety of supplies are loaded inside.

The story continues in Part Two -- The Street

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