What is Ahogado?

What is an Ahogado you might ask yourself as you are driving to or around Guadalajara, Mexico.  This was a question that might come up if you are in the area or see it on the menu as we found ourselves asking the same question. After a little deeper investigation, we found it was quite possibly one of the best sandwiches ever, and I mean ever!

Whoa!  That’s a bold statement but let me back that up with the situation as it stood. The version that I tried at a MUST pull-over  truck-stop/open air restaurant  called  Tacos Plaza, on the side of the highway as you enter Guadalajara.  I know what you must be now thinking, but stop your fingers from clicking the mouse and moving on to a new site,  Mexico’s version of fast food is much different than the traditional view held north of the border.  This fast food truck-stop had homemade, fire-cooked corn tortillas, fresh cilantro and limes, home made salsas and Ahogado.

Mexican Fast Foot

It may not be pretty, but vale la pena!

As the query what exactly this Ahogado consisted of was still outstanding, I needed to sleuth it out.  Somewhat nervously with the knowledge that Tacos de Cabeza (tacos comprised of various head parts, including lips, and brains) is a number one dish in Mexico, I ordered the “Ahogado Torta”.  What came back was a pleasant surprise. The torta is a thick sourdough-ish roll called a birote salado, which is filled with stewed pork and smothered in a red sauce. I’ve since heard of versions which also have a thin layer of beans, topped with pickled onions,  and the red sauce being a blend of two sauces: one mild tomato and the other a fiery chile de arbol salsa. Mexican’s know their spices, keep it mind when you ask to go Hot.

This isn’t the type of sandwich you can eat with your hands, or at least I couldn’t handle it, but the bread or roll had the perfect still crispy, but just soaked enough consistency that it resembled more a crust you’d find on a brioche.  The pork came in tender slow braised chunks that  melted immediately upon the tongue. The sauce was thin and fresh enough that it had a taste of the  homemade pizza sauces I once experienced on a childhood visit to Tuscany, Italy.  The price for the sandwich was $50 pesos, or around $4. This is franchised Mexican fast food (on the side of the highway even) at its best, so if you happen to be driving around and see the above sign, pull over!

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