Meat, Dulce de Leche and Empanadas: Go Food Crazy in Argentina

dulce

To be honest, food was never really a big part of the travel experience for me until I got to Argentina. Once I arrived to this country I was blown away by the food, gained about a stone in weight and would never again travel anywhere without making the food an important element of the whole thing.

The Famous Argentine Meat

I’m not really a huge meat fan. Still, I kept reading that the Argentine meat is the best in the world. Oh yeah, how great could it be? I was walking past a tenedor libre (which is a meat buffet style place) one of my first days in Buenos Aires and decided to give it a try. The first thing that struck was me all of the confusing cuts I was offered by the staff. I had no idea which part of the deceased cow any of them had come from but decided to try a few which looked unthreatening. After chewing on the first mouthful I was hooked. This was nothing like the meat I was used to eating back home. Apparently, the quality of the beef here is down to the way the cattle roam freely over the open expanses of the Pampas.

Dulce de Leche Goes with Everything

carne

My first breakfast in Buenos Aires was an interesting experience, as it always is in a new country. As I sat down with café con leche and some bread I felt pretty good about the day ahead. There was a new city to explore and I was ready to roll. Hang on though; what was that blob of brown stuff on the plate next to my butter? I didn’t want to ruin my first morning with a disagreeable breakfast spread but some kind traveller near me told me that it was dulce de leche and well worth trying. Dulce de leche, eh? Doesn’t that mean sweet of milk? It sure does. This is a delicious milky caramel which goes well with just about any type of food at all and which I was addicted to after that first breakfast. 

Empanadas All Day Long

I never tried any empanadas in Buenos Aires but once I got up north to the lovely city of Salta I saw them on sale everywhere. I later discovered that empanadas are popular pretty much everywhere in South America, but the Argentine ones are by far my favourites. They are simply small pastries filled with meat or vegetables or other stuff. However, they are about a hundred times more exciting than I just made them sound. I basically lived off these things for about a week in Salta, as I thought that I would never again get to sample them. It seems that it is one of the iconic foods of the city and many restaurants offer a set menu of a dozen of them with a few beers, which sounds absolutely blooming marvellous for sitting down and watching a game of football with.

Mate to Keep You Healthy

This last item is a drink rather than a food but I just couldn’t leave it out, as it a huge part of the Argentine culture. If I asked you to imagine a little metal or wooden cup filled with crushed herbs you could do that, couldn’t you? Now imagine pouring hot water over it and drinking it through a metal straw. You still with me? Well, all you need to do is repeat this loads of times every day and you get the idea of mate. Most Argentines seem to drink litres of this stuff every day and I quickly grew to love it. I got told that it was really healthy too, which might have partially made up for the all the meat, dulce de leche and empanadas I stuffed down my gullet while I was there.

Which part of the world made you fall in love with the food/travel experience?

images courtesy of wikipedia

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2 Responses to Meat, Dulce de Leche and Empanadas: Go Food Crazy in Argentina

  1. 2wisemonkeys says:

    Beginning to think that Argentina needs to be on our travel cards soon. In the last three days – it’s managed to creep into every aspect of our lives. It’s been all about the food too …. Great post – yet again!!
    2wisemonkeys recently posted…weekly photo challenge: reflectionsMy Profile

  2. I am a sucker for sweets too so this is my kind of post.lol I had enpanadas when I went to Philippines last year but it didn’t taste exactly like I imagined it. Maybe i bought at the wrong place?

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