Handmade in Minnesota: Quebracho Empanadas

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Quebracho Empanadas are handmade in Minnesota, and they’re an easy dish that can be picked up in the frozen section.

Belen Rodriguez started the company. She’s from Argentina, and her husband is from Silver Bay.

“Finding myself being the only one of my family here, I really wanted to find a way to connect again with my roots and my culture, and eat the foods that I grew up eating,” Rodriguez said. “And so I started sharing them with friends and family, and so I started essentially at the farmer’s market booth in the holiday season of 2018, and then we slowly started growing.”

When the pandemic hit and shut down events, Rodriguez rebranded Quebracho as a grocery store brand.

“One thing that I always like to say is that if you’ve never tried an empanada before, you can easily compare them to maybe a pastie or a pierogi, right? Like many other cultures, it’s a little pocket with savory fillings,” she said.

Hers are her grandmother’s recipe. She offers beef, which has a similar flavor to chili; chicken, which is a lemon-herb flavor; and veggie, which is made with spinach and ricotta cheese.

“You can pair them up with a small cup of soup. That’s my choice, especially in the Minnesota winter, or maybe a small salad. You can just eat them by themselves. I have a little bit of Argentinian chimichurri here. People can find this recipe on our website,” she said. “Or you can go for more like a finger-food type appetizer option.”

The empanadas are sold at both Duluth Whole Foods Co-Op locations, Louise’s Place in Two Harbors, and the Cook County Whole Foods Co-Op in Grand Marais. Rodriguez said they’ve been well received on the North Shore.

“You know, I have to say, it’s a wonderful community up there,” she said. “We were actually up there for the Bay Days festival, and they were a total hit. We sold out I think the first and second day, and the second day I think we sold out in the first hour that we were there.”

You can find more information and recipes on Quebracho’s website.