Meghann in Argentina: Flavors of Argentina

I can’t believe that I have made it over four months here without writing about (in my opinion) one of the best parts of traveling: food. Argentina has not let me down in terms of food—even ordinary weekday dinners with my host parents have a certain indescribable Argentine flare. I have also definitely taken advantage of the culinary scene in the city. Every Saturday night when my host family does not provide me with dinner, I go out with friends to a cute area of the city called Palermo, which is filled with different types of restaurants and bars.

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Choripan is a very typical Argentine meal. The word is a combination of “chorizo” (a spiced sausage) and “pan” (bread), and it is topped off with a sauce called chimichurri. You can buy choripan as street food from carts or vendors (as seen in this picture) or also in nicer restaurants.

Photo #1. Caption: Choripan is a very typical Argentine meal. The word is a combination of “chorizo” (a spiced sausage) and “pan” (bread), and it is topped off with a sauce called chimichurri. You can buy choripan as street food from carts or vendors (as seen in this picture) or also in nicer restaurants.

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Perhaps one of the most classic foods that Argentines can’t seem to live without are empanadas. There are empanada shops with huge varieties of flavors on almost every block, and most are sold for just 11 pesos (about 60 cents)!

 

Photo #2. Caption: Perhaps one of the most classic foods that Argentines can’t seem to live without are empanadas. There are empanada shops with huge varieties of flavors on almost every block, and most are sold for just 11 pesos (about 60 cents)!

 

It has also been fun to cook with friends from different countries. We have done “cultural” food nights at friends’ apartments where everyone makes something from their home country, so I have also had the chance to try everything from homemade French Canadian to German food here. Some of us also tried our hand at doing our own asado (barbeque), another Argentine culinary tradition. Although I can’t say that I was too helpful with grilling, it turned out pretty well for a group of foreigners!

 

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Our attempt at homemade asado (barbeque).

 

The only downside to the Argentine diet is that it is generally pretty bad for you—I have even found myself missing the salad bar at Dhall. I’m amazed at how healthy the population here looks considering a pretty high percentage of the usual diet is red meat, wine, and a very large variety of deserts. I’m guessing that people can stay healthy due to the amount of walking required for getting around the city. Even though the public transportation is great, I still probably end up walking over five miles every day.

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One of the best and most famous deserts are alfajores, cookie-ish deserts that vary based on region in Argentina. These are fancier coconut alfajores filled with dulce de leche, but you can also buy them in corner stores (there are probably over 50 kinds of pre-packaged alfajores).

 

While the food here has been great and I am still enjoying trying new things, after six months I will definitely be happy to return to foods that I am more accustomed to in the U.S. (and to finally eat a few vegetables)!

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