On Edge

The varying crimped edges of Argentine empanadas are a clue to what's hidden inside

How to Crimp Empanadas
Landon Nordeman

The classic Argentine empanada is shaped like a half-moon, but the seal—a beautifully crimped fringe known as the repulgue (literally, "braided edge")—has countless variations, ranging from the scalloped edge on the beef empanada at top left (1) to (2) a ropelike twist, (3) a flat band, or (4) pleated folds. Repulgues serve two purposes: They help contain the juicy fillings, and they help the empanada maker tell different flavors apart. Restaurants provide drawings of their different repulgues on take-out menus so customers can tell the difference.