(Colombian Empanadas, great party item)
Empanadas are a tradition throughout the Hispanic world. Depending on what country you may find yourself, empanadas can vary greatly in flavor, uses and fillings. Even within one country, empanadas may be quite different from one region to the other. You see, empanadas developed very much along the same lines as Tacos and Burritos: Whatever happens to be available from leftovers or from the particular agriculture of a region, gets put inside the empanadas.
In Colombia alone, there are a multitude of variations of the classic empanada starting from meat fillings to mashed potatoes, rice concoctions, squash, pumpkin, greens, jellies and other sweets, etc. Even in my home city of Medellín, empanadas can vary greatly from Envigado, to El Poblado, to San Pedro, to La Ceja, to Barbosa, to Belén, to Marique, to La Floresta to downtown (these are all suburbs of a city of over 3.5 million people)