'Vendedoras de Gorditas' ('Gorditas Saleswomen') – Xicotepec de Juárez, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

'Vendedoras de Gorditas' ('Gorditas Saleswomen')

A tribute to a local delicacy and the women who prepare and sell it. 


Following the declaration of Xicotepec de Juárez as a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) in 2012, sculptor Emeterio Valderrábano Garrido was commissioned to create several works of art in the city’s center to celebrate aspects of the local culture. Perhaps the most notable of these is “Vendedoras de Gorditas” (“The Gorditas Saleswoman”). 

In Mexico, gorditas are commonly round cakes made out of masa (a dough of ground hominy corn), and eaten fried or griddled, usually cut in half and stuffed. Xicotepec’s version of the dish consists of small disks stuffed with refried black beans, then deep fried in pork lard or oil and served in a soupy green or red spicy salsa.

The sculpture depicts a street seller offering a fully prepared dish of gorditas taken out of her basket stash. The accompaniment of hard-boiled eggs can be found in her other basket. 

“Vendedoras de Gorditas” joins additional works by Valderrábano and other sculptors in depicting Xicotepense scenes. All are part of the “Rostros que Esconde la Niebla” (“Faces Hidden by the Fog”) series, sculpted by Valderrábano and accompanied with text by author Daniel Arturo Islas Cabrera.

“Vendedoras de Gorditas” is the only work in the trail that has spurred local traditions, however. Owing to huevos being common Spanish slang for testicles, the saleswoman’s eggs have been rubbed to a shiny glint. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for a real egg with a face or pictures drawn on it to infiltrate its metallic brethren.

Know Before You Go

This sculpture is located on a public sidewalk and visible at all times. If you want to try real gorditas and other local delicacies (like the similar, meat-filled molotes), your best bet at daytime is a visit to the central Hermilo Amador market.

After dark, options are more plentiful, with many cenadurías (dinner places) opening up throughout the city.

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