Linucon 2005: Chupaqueso
What is chupaqueso? To quote Linucon program book, “The experts prepare cheese in a fried cheese shell, with extra cheese. The audience gets to eat the results. A favorite of Schlock Mercenary fans.” It was invented by Howard Tayler, the author of the Schlock Mercenary web comic.
I’m not sure if I correctly remember the convoluted story of Chupaqueso’s birth, but… At first there was a word. Howard Tayler was looking for a made-up word to describe quintessential cheap, greasy, Mexican fast food, probably for his comic strip, and chupaqueso suggested itself. It’s composed of Spanish words for “suck” and “cheese”.
Then, while he was on a low carb diet, cheese must have been a major staple in his kitchen. One day he was flipping through a cookbook and saw a cheese crisp. That was the prototype of the chupaqueso. If I remember correctly, Howard improved on it by adding cheese filling to it.
How to make it
You cook it by spreading shredded cheese in a circle on a griddle. It melts and forms a pancake which will become the chupaqueso shell. You flip it over. Then you put more shredded cheese — the same or different kind — in the middle of the shell. Then you fold the sides of the pancake over one another, and the result is a chupaqueso.
I tried to make it at home in a cast iron pan, and all I got was just cheese goo sticking to the bottom of the pan. It did not form a pancake. It did not hold together. So a griddle with the right kind of surface may be the key. I don’t have one at home, and I doubt that many people own one.
Howard and Jay Maynard (a.k.a The Tron Guy) gave a chupaqueso cooking demonstration in the Con Suite. I ate a piece, and, well, it tastes just as cheesy and greasy — and good — as one would expect.
Here is my video of Howard Tayler and Jay Maynard / The Tron Guy making chupaqueso.
Chupaqueso: the finished product
These people were watching the chupaqueso cooking demo with (a tad bit morbid?) fascination.
A scene from the video of making chupaqueso. Howard Tayler spreads shredded cheese in a circle on a griddle. It melts and forms a pancake which will become the chupaqueso shell.
Then, Howard Tayler folds a side of the shell over the filling.
Then, he folds the other side of the shell over the filling.
Then he folds the ends.