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Welcome To The Fiesta, October 6-8, 2000

The Whole Enchilada Fiesta is a three-day celebration of southern New Mexico’s traditions, people and great food. The celebration is centered on the making of the largest enchilada around. Chef and founder of the Fiesta, Robert V. Estrada, combines southwest ingredients to make the crowd-pleasing enchiladas.

For almost 20 years, the three-day fiesta has been attracting community members and business people. The event showcases the area’s finest artists, businesses, organizations and services. Community members are able to interact and enjoy New Mexico in a fun and exciting environment.

The festival attracts more than 70,000 visitors and has the third largest attendance of any annual regularly scheduled event in New Mexico.

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THE Enchilada

The highlight of the fiesta is the creation of the world's largest flat enchilada. Although the Guiness Book of World Records recognizes a "rolled enchilada" as the world's longest, this year's fiesta will attempt to create the world's largest "flat enchilada." [ story ]

The Ingredients

  • 750 lb. of stone ground corn to make the Masa tortillas
  • 175 gallons of vegetable oil, heated to cook the tortillas
  • 75 gallons of red chile sauce
  • 75 lb. of grated cheese
  • 50 lb. chopped onions
  • 2 boxes of tomatoes, sliced
  • 48 heads of lettuce, chopped

The Equipment

Robert V. Estrada designed special equipment used in the making of THE Enchilada. The equipment includes the press, the carrying plate, the cooking vat and the serving plate. All equipment is made of stainless steel and is HEAVY.

The Method

  • First, the carrying tray is placed on top of the press; then 250 lb. of the masa dough is placed on the plate. A circular form is positioned over the dough and re-positioned directly in the center of the plate.
  • The dough is then pressed to make the tortilla. A tow truck lift is used to lower the top plate. Clamps are used around the edges of the form to squeeze the dought to as thin as possible
  • From here, the tortilla is carried by about 14 men, using hooks inserted into holes around the edge of carrying plate, to the cooking vat that contains vegetable oil, which has been heated to 550 degrees (this is a difficult and hazardous (hot oil) procedure).
  • The tortilla is then cooked for about 10 - 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
  • When done, it is carried by the same men, to a waiting station where it is drained of any excess oil.
  • It is then carried and laid on the serving plate (this is another one of those difficult procedures).
  • Robert V. Estrada then ladles on some of the chile sauce, then he spreads some of the cheese and then some of the chopped onions.
  • This marks the completion of the first layer of THE Enchilada. The second and third tortillas are done in the same manner.
  • After the last layer is completed, THE enchilada is topped with chopped lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
  • Then THE Enchilada is ready to be served.
  • It takes approximately two and half-hours, from start to finish, in the making of the World’s LARGEST Enchilada!
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Fiesta Gallery - General Views

At the fiesta At the fiesta At the fiesta
At the fiesta At the fiesta At the fiesta
At the fiesta At the fiesta At the fiesta

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Fiesta Gallery - Making the tortilla

Making the tortilla Making the tortilla Making the tortilla
Making the tortilla Making the tortilla Making the tortilla
Making the tortilla Making the tortilla Making the tortilla
Making the tortilla Making the tortilla
Never too many hands!

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Fiesta Gallery - Cooking the tortilla

Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla
Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla
Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla
Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla
Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla Cooking the tortilla

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Fiesta Gallery - Assembling the enchilada

Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla
Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla
Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla
Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla
Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla
Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla
Assembling the tortilla Assembling the tortilla The final masterpiece!

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Fiesta Gallery - The feast

The feast The feast The feast
The feast The feast The feast
The feast The feast The feast

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Fiesta Gallery - Going for the record

How big is it? How big is it? How big is it?
How big is it? How big is it? How big is it?

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Fiesta Gallery - Cars on display

Cars on display Cars on display Cars on display
Cars on display Cars on display Cars on display
Cars on display Cars on display Cars on display
Cars on display Cars on display Cars on display
Cars on display Cars on display Cars on display

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Fiesta Gallery - Pedalpower display

Pedalpower Pedalpower Pedalpower
Pedalpower Pedalpower Pedalpower

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