Are 'Selling Sunset' Star Emma's Empanadas Really Empanadas? Let's Investigate

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Are 'Selling Sunset' Star Emma's Empanadas Really Empanadas? Let's Investigate

Forget Christine and Emma's mystery man drama, the Selling Sunset Season 4 (vegan) beef I can't stop thinking about is Vanessa's takedown of Emma's empanadas. As one of the show's newest realtors (at least onscreen), Emma comes on the scene as the ultimate boss: She's the CEO of Emma Leigh & Co., a plant based frozen food company she launched during the pandemic, and she's involved in her family's business Yankee Trader Seafood, as well. It's clear she's an extremely successful person, but I have to ask, are her empanadas really empanadas?

Vanessa certainly doesn't think so. When Emma starts listing off her flavors at the office — including cheeseburger, pizza, and crab cake — she looks downright incredulous. And look, I'm right there with her. Traditional empanadas tend to include things like beef, onions, and spices all wrapped up in a flaky pastry pocket. They are delicious and definitely not in need of improvement.

But hey, maybe me and Vanessa are unfairly limiting empanadas. Maybe an empanada can be a pizza, too. I can barely boil eggs, so I'm no expert on the subject. However, the internet knows everything. And so, I did a deep dive in order to settle Vanessa and Emma's argument: can Emma really call her vegan, Americanized frozen food items empanadas? Let's find out.

First, What Even Is An Empanada?

I thought this question had a clear cut answer, but it seems empanadas have a complicated origin story. According to The Farmer's Almanac (oh yeah, I'm throwing it way back), an empanada is a "Spanish or Latin-American turnover." Traditionally, these tasty treats are filled with savory ingredients and they can be either baked or fried.

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