Toluca Style Chorizo and Cheese Sandwiches – Tortas Toluqueñas

Click here to go to printable recipe:  Toluca Style Chorizo and Cheese Sandwiches

In my previous two posts, I talked about the sister cities of Saitama, in Japan, and Toluca, in Mexico, pointing out their geographical and architectural similarities, and love for football (soccer), having a youth football accord, as well as the reputation that both cities boast as great producers of pork products, especially, sausages, and in Toluca, more specifically, chorizo.  Another interesting similarity is the popularity of their stretches with street-food stands and small restaurants in central locations.  In Saitama, Suzuran Dori is a shopping street in the Omiya borough (photo below, left), featuring a pedestrian-only corridor with many small businesses on either side, including, amongst many other choices, restaurants offering soba or ramen noodles, yakitori (skewered chicken) and international cuisines, such as Chinese (photo below, right): 

Suzuran Dori Street, Omiya, Saitama, Japan (photo from my daughter, 2020)
Detail of pedestrian corridor and restaurants along Suzuran Dori (photo from my daughter, 2020)

As for Toluca, many people would say that a visit to the city is incomplete without a walk by Los Portales, which are a series of arched gateways arranged in a U shape, starting with a stretch on the West side of Toluca’s cathedral (photo below, left).  The arches serve as thresholds to pedestrian corridors, where there are different types of businesses, from clothing stores and jewelleries, to establishments with souvenirs, sweets (dulcerÍas) or small restaurants with all sorts of foodstuffs, to sustain customers during their marathonic shopping sprees, just like in Saitama (photo below, right): 

West side of Los Portales in Toluca, Edo. de México, Mexico (photo from Wikipedia Commons, 2006)
Small restaurants on the East side of Los Portales (photo from, 2018)

A local favourite are small restaurants specializing in Mexican sandwiches (torterÍas); two of the oldest torterÍas in Los Portales are: “La Barca”, founded in 1950, currently with a menu offering close to 50 different fillings (including chorizo, of course), and “La Vaquita Negra”,  preparing tortas with a few choices, but mostly their famous “torta toluqueña”,  since 1943.  This classic, old-fashioned Mexican sandwich only requires a few ingredients: a crusty Mexican bun called telera, Mexican cream, fried chorizo (red or green),  creamy unripened cheese“doble crema” – double cream, green salsa (raw or cooked), and sliced onions and tomatoes … no avocado, refried beans, or mayonnaise are allowed in the toluqueña!

For my recipe, I baked a batch of teleras (photo below, left), but other crusty buns, such as Calabrese or Portuguese style would work.   Mexican cream is a little tangy and very spreadable; there is a Canadian brand, coincidentally also called La Vaquita™ that makes Mexican style cheeses and cream, as shown below, right:

Telera, a Mexican crusty bun for tortas

Mexican style cream

If Mexican cream is not available, a little milk may be added to sour cream.

For the star ingredient, chorizo sausage, it is very important that it is Mexican style, not Spanish or Portuguese.  To prepare, it is taken out of the case, and fried until fully cooked, and slightly crispy, breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon.  I have shared recipes for both the bright scarlet, better known,  red chorizo (photo below, left),  and in my previous post, the unique Toluca style green chorizo (photo below, right):

Mexican Red chorizo, pan-fried
Toluca style green chorizo, pan-fried

The cheese must be as fresh (young, unripened) and creamy as possible; I have never seen Mexican doble crema in Canada, but I found a very nice unripened goat cheese (photo below, left).  I have also posted recipes for both raw and cooked green salsa (pictured below, centre), or a good-quality bottled green tomatillo salsa may also be used.  The onions and tomatoes are finely sliced (photo below, right):

Creamy unripened cheese (in this photo, goat cheese)

Raw and cooked green (tomatillo) salsas
Sliced onions and tomatoes

Toluca Style Chorizo and Cheese Sandwich – 

Torta Toluqueña

Printable recipe: Toluca Style Chorizo and Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients (for four sandwiches)

4 crusty buns (try my homemade teleras, or Portuguese buns, Calabrese buns, etc.)
1 lb (454g) Mexican chorizo (store bought or my homemade red, or see my previous post for green chorizo); without casing, and cooked
4 slices unripened creamy cheese, such as doble crema or from goat’s milk
¼ cup Mexican cream (or ¼ cup sour cream mixed with a little milk)
1 tomato; washed, stem end removed, and sliced
¼ white onion; peeled and sliced
Mexican green salsa; raw or cooked (try my homemade recipes, or bottled)

Slice the buns in half horizontally (photo below, left).  Remove a little bit of the crumb from inside the top half, then place bread on a hot skillet over medium heat, cut sides facing down; after around one minute, flip the bottom half (photo below, right):

Scoop one quarter of the cooked chorizo on the bottom half.  In the photos below, one bun with red chorizo (left) and one with green chorizo (right):

Flip top halves, to warm up the outer side, while topping chorizo, on the bottom half, with veggies and salsa.  For contrast of colours, for the red chorizo I added green sauce first, then onions and finally tomatoes (photo below, left); for the green chorizo, I started with tomatoes, then onions, and ended with green salsa (photo below, right):

Place one slice of cheese on top, and spread cream on the cut side of the top half (photo below, left, shown with red chorizo).  Close the sandwich, remove from skillet.  Wrap a piece of parchment paper around the finished torta toluqueña, and serve immediately (photo below, right, shown with green chorizo):

Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.  In the photo below, cross sections of the tortas toluqueñas, with red or green chorizo, showing layers of Mexico’s national colours in green, white and red:

These tortas had an amazingly satisfying bite, from the crunchy outside and fluffy crumb of the bun, soaked with flavours of spicy chorizo and its salty juices, to the freshness from the veggies and salsa, and the richness of the cream and cheese.  It was hard to pick between the red or green chorizo flavours, so it was a good compromise to eat half a sandwich of each flavour:

I am bringing my Tortas Toluqueñas to Fiesta Friday #392 with gracious hostess Angie @ Fiesta Friday.

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #327 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

7 thoughts on “Toluca Style Chorizo and Cheese Sandwiches – Tortas Toluqueñas

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