Buenos Aires: Food–The Rest

January 20, 2011

The abundant, succulent, and cheap beef was not the only delicacy we encountered in Argentina. Other delicious specialties included:

Empanadas: a small, calzone-like baked pastry most commonly stuffed with fragrant beef, chopped green onions and olives, and plump raisins, and that is heaven when fresh out of the oven. Other variations of fillings such as chicken or veggies were frequently offered, but naturally, the empanadas de carne were the best.

Chimichurri: the standard sauce accompaniment with meat (particularly beef, surprise surprise) made of parsley, olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, paprika, oregano, and bay leaves. Though freshly mixed chimichurri is green in color, we learned that an “aged” (week-old) chimichurri turns reddish and is equally as tasty and edible. Nearly every restaurant we stepped foot in had a little bowl of it waiting on the table. Chimichurri is also makes a fine butter substitute on bread.

Choripan: the Argentine’s hot dog ensemble with spicy pork sausage or chorizo sandwiched between crispy halves of baguette and slathered in chimichurri. We found a tiny shop near our hostel that sold these suckers in giant portions for about 1USD. Simplyamazing.

Pizza: about 60% of the population in Argentina is estimated to possess some degree of Italian descent thanks to significant immigration from Italy dating back to the 1850s and continuing on until the 1960s. Italian food, as a result, has a huge presence in Argentina. Many of the pizzas we saw, including one we tried at El Gran Bar Federal in San Telmo, are of a thicker, softer crust and completely covered in melty muzzarella with a single green olive garnishing each slice.

Gelato: I am not sure I can count on both hands the number of times we had gelato on our trip. It was just too good to pass up every time we stumbled on a different shop, and the variety of flavors available everywhere only made it more enticing. It is safe to say that the gelato was the best we have tasted outside of the 1Euro cones we consumed in Venice, Italy.

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