1. Chalupa is a South-American Spanish word for a small boat, particularly a small, one or two person boat that looks something like a small canoe with a flat bottom.
2. Because of this, a tostada made with a tortilla that has been deep fried in a bowl ('boat') shape is called a chalupa. There are many different types of chalupas, but the standard Mexican chalupa is made with meat (such as shredded chicken or pork), chopped and fried vegetables (such as onion and pepper), and salsa. Unfortunately, many Americans will have only experienced Taco Bell chalupas, which are actually an odd form of soft taco filled with very American ground beef. Traditional chalupas are distinctly open-faced, looking like shallow bowls. They also most often have hard shells, deep-fried over a form to give them their shape.
Chalupa is pronounced cha-loo-pa (/tʃa' lu pa/)