|Course||Appetizer or snack|
|Place of origin||Mexico|
Tostada (// or //; Spanish: [tosˈtaða]) is a Spanish word meaning "toasted". In Mexico and other parts of Hispanic America it is the name of different local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation. Even though the tortilla is fried; the meaning sticks with it.
In Mexican usage, tostada usually refers to a flat or bowl-shaped (like a bread bowl) tortilla that is deep fried. It may also refer to any dish using a tostada as a base. It can be consumed alone, or used a base for other foods. Corn tortillas are usually used for tostadas, although tostadas made of wheat flour may occasionally be found.
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The tostada avoids waste when tortillas are not fresh enough to be made into tacos, but fresh enough to be eaten. The tortilla can be eaten fried or raw, even in dough form. The tortilla is fried in boiling oil until it becomes golden, rigid and, crunchy, rather like a slice of toasted bread. Commercial tostadas, similar in taste and consistency to tortilla chips, are also widely available nowadays.
Tostadas are a dish on their own in Mexico and the American Southwest. Beans, cheese, sour cream, chopped lettuce, sliced onions, and salsa are mainstays that may be spread on a tostada, which is then topped with diced and fried meat, usually chicken or pork. The "tostada de pata" (made with chopped pork fingers in conserve) is considered a classic and is found wherever tostadas are eaten. Due to the fragile nature of a tostada, the topping must be pasty enough to stay on. This keeps the other toppings or garnishes from falling off while being eaten. Mostly, the toppings used are the same as with tacos. These toppings are called "guisados".
They can also be an appetizer, cut into small triangles to dip into salsa, guacamole, beans, cream, cream cheese or served with chile con queso. This version of the tostada has its origins both in the "totopos de maiz" and the New Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Commercial tortilla chips, known as "nachos", are also commonly sold in stores and supermarkets.
In Central America, tostadas are often prepared with black beans, parsley, ground beef and curtido.