Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventures in Argentina

When we told people about our recent travel plans, I was asked, “Why Argentina??? You don’t eat meat and you don’t speak Spanish!” I’m here to tell you that there is much much more to Argentine cuisine than beef (and not speaking Spanish only added to the adventure)!

Our Argentine adventures included exploring, site-seeing, museum-going, hiking, glacier trekking, sunbathing, and – of course – lots and lots of eating and drinking.

this vegetarian's favorite foods of Argentina:

Empanadas. These delicious stuffed pastries are everywhere. Although ground beef may be the most traditional filling, we found many delicious vegetarian varieties including cebolla y queso (onion and cheese), verdura (usually a spinach mixture), choclo (corn), and caprese. Our favorites were the cebolla y queso empanadas at a little bakery in El Chalten in Patagonia.

Ice Cream. Argentines love their ice cream, especially in BA. There is literally a helados store on every corner. In addition to the 10 different takes on the dulce de leche flavor, fruit flavors are common as well. Our favorite combo – lemon mousse and strawberry - was discovered by mistake when MO’s pronunciation of vainilla (vanilla) was mistaken for frutilla (strawberry).

Wine. Ok, wine is not a food, but it is plentiful, good and very inexpensive in Argentina. Even in restaurants it is typical to find many good wines priced under $12 us per bottle. Needless to say we tried a lot of wine. I enjoyed lots of delicious Malbecs and Cabernet Sauvignons, but I also discovered a new varietal that is perfect for the hot summer days we had there: torrontes. Torrontes is a fruity floral white wine, crisp but not overly acidic.

Oh yeah, MO said the beef was excellent, too. :)

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