Fernanda Varela better known as “Nanda” began with culinary skills when she was just eight years old, for more than 70 years she has dedicated herself to the rescue, conservation and dissemination of the typical flavor of Parral with the famous enchiladas and tostadas, which are part of the gastronomic heritage from the city.
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One of the typical dishes not only of the state of Chihuahua but of the Mexican territory, are the enchiladas, a type of dish that is made from a corn tortilla, bathed in spicy sauce.
Fernanda Varela affectionately known as “Nanda” is a traditional cook from the city of Parral and the last student of Doña Cuca.
María del Refugio Delgado Muñoz, a woman from the state of Zacatecas, was the one who in 1922 founded the famous “Doña Cuca” enchiladas, which are part of the history of the Traditional Cuisine of Parral.
Nanda learned to cook the traditional enchiladas and tostadas typical of Parral and that for more than 70 years has rescued, promoted and spread one of the most exquisite flavors that distinguish the Capital of the World.
“I like to cook and people support me. I have cooked various dishes for 70 years. I worked in Torreón in a Chinese restaurant, in Juárez I worked at the International Airport, but enchiladas are my specialty, although I have not worked for three years, I started when I was eight years old, with a lady we called Doña Cuca, she brought the tradition of enchiladas from Zacatecas, she had her job and I started working there, she was the one who invented that way of cooking here in Parral”, Dona Nanda commented.
Mrs. Nanda said that at the beginning in the business of “Doña Cuca” she carried out various activities; however, on one occasion a cook was absent and they asked her to help prepare the enchiladas “Little by little I stayed there, I cried, I got burned, I did everything but here I am, it was worth having burned, that’s where I made my home.”
He argued that the success of his enchiladas is due to the fact that all the ingredients are chosen in the correct way, that is, he always buys the tortillas, cheese, onion and chili in the same establishment.
For the above mentioned “The truth is, I use ranchero cheese, if I used another type of cheese it would not have the same flavor, you have to know how to chop the onion, it must have a certain size, so that it is not spicy or bland, the lard has to be pork.”
Although she has been out of work for about three years, Doña Nanda attends each of the events where she is requested, weddings, XV years, family parties, always accompanied by her sister who has also developed this love for Parralense gastronomy.