Few things in life are better than a fresh, crispy empanada.

Tasty, tasty empanadas.

Almost every culture around the world wraps up meats in pockets of carbohydrates, thus making various forms of food that are both delicious and easy to handle. The sandwich, for one can trace its origin back to Neolithic times, coming into its own with John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich. The English aristocrat would regularly order meat tucked into a pocket of bread as a means to eat while keeping one hand free, allowing him to play chess.

The empanada employs the same idea--pocket food, meant to be eaten with the hands. As with the sandwich, there exist endless variations on a theme.

Like a sandwich, there is no one right way. Unlike a sandwich, however, making empanadas is not an undertaking to be entered into lightly. To make a batch is labor intensive and requires much preparation of ingredients and deep-frying. Because of the amount of oil required to prepare them, empanadas lend themselves to preparation in large batches, as when entertaining guests or selling them as a side business.

While the preparation of a batch of empanadas may take some time, your efforts will be rewarded with dozens of crispy, satisfying pastries. The first bite will let you know that it was worth it, and the thanks you’ll get from anyone you share these with will be enough to get you to do it all again. Keep reading for a detailed blueprint of the ins-and-outs of making Colombian-style empanadas.

FRY ON, cats and kittens.