Monday, February 17, 2014



The best part of any travelling experience is the glory of gluttony. So what are the more developed local dishes of Argentina?

Anyone who has come here will tell you Argentines feast on two things: Beef and the blood of vegetarians. Beef is popular. Main dishes include bífe de chorízo, bife de lomo, empanadas, milanesa, and locro. In my own experience eating so far, they do not add much seasoning to any of these. Hot sauce included. There is a long history of the cattle farms on Argentina's expansive plains, which is home to the dying Gaucho culture. Gauchos as I understand them are basically cowboys. Popular non beef based foods include pizza, alfajores (which I have yet to try, but I think the name is hilarious...) and plenty of breads. For dessert, I have been eating flan after almost every meal at home, but ice cream is quite popular. Finally there is the the chocolaty, nutty, milky goodness that is, Dulce de Leche. I tried it the first morning, wiping the crust from my eyes glugging coffee. It was spread generously on my toast, and seconds after the first bite:

Seriously, it's delicious. I will definitely be sending some back for everyone to enjoy. That.. and mate.
Perk: seven refills gains you ability to ignoring sleep

Mate (pronounced MAH-tay) is a very popular tea-like drink. When Europeans first came to South America it became wildly popular, and for many years it was Paraguay's main commodity above tobacco and coffee. On the streets people can be seen drinking it from a traditional calabash gourd and silver straw (bombilla), the same way that it has been drunk for hundreds of years. It's highly caffeinated, has a strong flavor, and once you fill the gourd, it's hard to stop refilling it. It's hard to say why the drink never caught on in North America or Europe the way coffee did or tobacco. I'm told it's not easy to domesticate or cultivate.

Some shameful American bought this
So there you have it, you got your beef, Dulce de Leche, and mate. There is one more important part of any food experience in Argentina, and that is sobremesa. This is best described as hanging out after a meal. After dinner or lunch people will regularly spend hours talking. Going out to dinner is a bad idea for the impatient and a great idea for those who can't help but gossip. On Argentine television recently there was newsflash about a possible love affair between Obama and Beyonce with a candid photo of Beyonce kissing the president on the cheek.

That's all I got for now. Now, enjoy pictures of my food!

Thigh of a vegetarian


Dulce de "wipes tear" Leche
Also, shout out to my host Mom for making super fresh vegetarian meals every night. Also, shout out to Papa Francis.

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