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Newsday newsday.com 23 Nov, 2021 13:45 am

Island Empanada's pasteles could be Long Island's most sought-after holiday dish

Island Empanada's pasteles could be Long Island's most sought-after holiday dish
You didn’t hear this from me. Not far from the geographic center of our island home, tucked inside an unremarkable strip center where you’d never think to look, there is a woman — perhaps the only per

Forget the moment, eight years ago, when Roy Pelaez, the Bronx native and impresario behind Island Empanada, asked Vega if she knew how to make pasteles, which he had adored since boyhood."The process is long," said Vega, who worked in the first Island Empanada in Ronkonkoma, which opened in 2011, and now owns her own franchise in Medford." These days Pelaez’s toughest job is coming to terms with the runaway success that is Island Empanada." He still seems baffled, albeit happily, by Island Empanada’s rapid expansion, so much so that he’s hardly had time to notice the growing hubbub over pasteles.

In her Island Empanada kitchen, just after 8 a.It's an authentic aliment that sits at the apex of Puerto Rican holiday cooking, a little treat called pasteles, also known as impossibly cute meat pockets, a single bite of which can induce ecstatic states and lies about heritage.

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