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Hot dog! Empanada lady fills us with delight

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn has a booming food culture, so how come you can only get a stale pretzel, a dirty water dog or a re-frozen Italian ice in Prospect Park?

Well, that was then. Thankfully, an Argentinean woman from Windsor Terrace has started selling incredible empanadas on weekends in the park — though for now, she’s a mystery woman because she doesn’t have a permit.

“The company I was working for closed down, and I was stressed out after a long time of not finding a job,” said the woman, who gave only the name Valeria. She studies psychology at Hunter College by day, but with little job prospects, she honed her her moon-shaped pies.

“One night, I made empanadas for my husband, and he loved them so much he suggested that I sell them in the park,” she said.

For about two weeks, Valeria has been peddling a spinach, garlic, and cheddar version as well as a corn, caramelized onion and mozzarella variety.

She’s usually on the prowl Saturdays, and sometimes Sunday, heading the length of Prospect Park West and through the fields until she runs out of pies — usually by about 2:30 pm. Park-goers typically walk past, then do a double take, unable to resist the curiosity of the seed-coated, moon-shapes pastries she peddles. And rightfully so — the empanadas are excellent, with a thick crust, flavorful fillings and lacking that greasy, fast-food flavor common in even the best empanadas.

The secret is replacing the traditional lard in the dough with vegetable oil, she said.

“These are truly pretty typical empanadas from Argentina, but they have my own twist,” said Valeria.

Hurry and get them while they last — Valeria will only be out until the weather turns cold. Or the Park patrol officers bust the whole operation.

Updated 5:21 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

MVT from Carroll Gardens says:
What this woman is doing is not possibly illegal ("what she’s doing may not be legal"), it is 100% illegal.

You do realize that by publishing articles like this you immediately bring this to the attention of the Health Department, thereby shutting down this woman's operations and imposing fines upon her.

Which is good, because we have no idea what the sanitary conditions of her kitchen are - she could have mice, roaches, or just be filthy - and so she has no right charging people for her food when thousands of people in this city pay fees for permits so that they can LEGALLY sell their food.
Oct. 27, 2010, 2:17 pm
Andy W from ——ing South says:
Answering MVT from Carroll Gardens:
Hey MVT, I guess you have too much free time, because your are playing "The FBI Agent Game"....do you? I am sure her kitchen is cleaner than your mind...WTF ????
Nov. 15, 2010, 4:29 pm

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