A food blog....
03.11.2010 - 09.11.2010
It was great to arrive into Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was really looking forward to people speaking spanish I can understand (in Chile they speak a relatively unique dialect of spanish which they think is spanish, but since everyone likes to speak at a 100 miles per minute and mumble their words, and use different vocabulary from the spanish spanish I learned, it was a challenging week of saying I don´t understand and can you please speak more slowly - which they never seemed to do...).
Anyway, we spent the past week and a half in both Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina and both are beautiful big cities. However neither of them have anything worth really writing home about other than to talk about our experience of their culture. And really when I say culture I primarily mean the food culture. So I rather than bore you with some random 1800´s beautiful building pics or stories of museums, I am going to give you a sense of what we have been eating and drinking, because to me that has been the highlight of these big cities!!
Chile: The first thing I was most intrigued about was the "completa" which the guidebooks described as a hot dog with tomatoes, mayo and avocado. They appear to be just about everywhere from fast food restaurants to diners. We ordered one at a local diner and were surprised that our "completa" didn´t include avocado - a great sadness since we both have loved all of the local avocado that seems to come with most everything down here. It included some grilled onion/sweet pepper combo along with tomatoes and lots of mayo and it was delicious believe it or not. We did finally track down the traditional later in the week which we learned is in fact called an "Italiano", not because of Italian flavors, but because it looks like the italian flag with the green, white and red food slathered on the hot dog. go figure. but again was super delicious. I recommend for your next BBQ!
We loved the chilean wines and tended towards the cabernet savignon and as previously posted, they were dirt cheap and were really good if not great wines that would cost 5 times as much in the states. We have been keeping a wine list of everything we have been tasting and bottles we have been drinking. Well, ok, we are a little lazy and have decided to take a pic of each bottle of wine we drink, so barring a camera being stolen - at the end of the trip I should have a lot of photos to download with all of the info of what we loved to pass along!
One other Chilean oddity: mote de huesilla I believe it is called. it is a "refreshing" beverage that is found on street corners all over the city. It is a cup half full of a type of soft cooked barley topped off with what I can only describe as the syrup that comes out of a can of peaches with a peach (from same said can) topping it all off. Neither of us liked it at all, but the chileans appeared to love it...
That all being said, we did not have one bad meal in chile and for the most part the meals we had were full of lovely beef, corn or veggies and wouldn´t be a unwelcome on anyone´s dinner table.
Argentina: Beef - it´s what for dinner!
It seems everyone who has been to argentina has told me about how much they loved it and especially how much they loved the food. And I have to agree. Argentina, as I think most people know, is know for their superior beef, wine, ice cream, pastas (a huge italian population), and dulce de leche - usually accompanying a warm croissant! I think I lost about 7-8 lbs in Peru and I think I may have already gained them all back after one week in Argentina!!
Breadfast at our B&B each morning is warm croissants smoothered with dulce de leche and tea. for lunch some type of empanada (usually beef, but of course), or sandwich. afternoon snacks of alfohares (dulce de leche between cake layers smoothered in chocolate...) or ice cream.
And then, dinner: I was expecting to really not love the beef b/c I was convinced I was used to the corn fed american cows back home, but I have to say, the beef here is incredible. so tender and so much more flavorful than american beef. It helps that everything costs a fraction of what it would in a NY steakhouse!! the pic pretty much says it all of what we have been eating for dinner each night. to start, a grilled beef and pork sausage that is incredible on its own and even better with the mustard or chimichanga (olive oil, herbs, garlic) sauce. followed by some cut of grilled beef, grilled vegetables, creamed spinach and a bottle of wine. perfection every day!! And usually about $75 total for the both of us. We would of course stop off for an ice cream on our way home (if not - or sometimes in addition to one in the middle of the afternoon!). Every meal we have had has been great. (well except we tried to go for sushi one night - not good at all. the tuna was cooked and the rice was sweet and nearly every item contained cream cheese. I kid you not....).
Anyway. this is how I have been spending my past week. Lovely sidewalk cafes and incredible food. It has been a treat!
More updates with real sight seeing activities soon!