Archive for the ‘argentina’ Category

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Even in Argentina…

February 15, 2008

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Yep… no Starbucks in the country yet, but the orange shorts exist—right next to the Puente de la Mujer (Woman’s Bridge). So look left and you see Hooters, look right and you see this…

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Riding Under the Influence in Argentina

February 13, 2008

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So, along with Mendoza being at the foothills of the Andes (and a phenomenal place for horseback riding), it’s also one of the best places in Argentina to go wine tasting—and try the native Malbec (see photo above). There are tons of vineyards and wineries outside the city. Kate and I decided to rent bikes for the day and ride from winery to winery. Sounded good in theory, and it was very beautiful. But we later realized that biking over 12 miles while tasting numerous glasses of red wine might get a little bit tricky. Alas, we prevailed!

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My favorite glass of wine was the Pleno from the Tempus Alba vineyard—one of the more modern wineries in the area. It is 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot. It was deep and full with lots of wood flavors, and it was utterly delicious to drink on the patio overlooking their vast vineyard. I’m very bummed because it doesn’t seem like they sell to any NYC wine stores.

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We also hopped on the wine tour at the very old and very famous Museo del Vino (in Spanish… which was interesting for me). They had barrels to store wine that were about a bajillion years old, and it was so great to get up-close and personal with (and smell!) all these classic Argentine wines. I bought 2 bottles of the Trumpeter while I was there. I bet you can buy this in NYC, but I haven’t checked yet. I still have 1 bottle to drink first!

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Meat, Meat, and More Meat

February 12, 2008

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If there’s one thing that Argentina is known for in the culinary world, it’s meat. They basically eat every part of the of cow that they can. It’s really quite remarkable. All over the city (and the country) are Parrillas, the Spanish word for “grill” or “barbecue,” that serve different cuts of steak and sausage—without any marinating and without any sauce on top. While I was there, my favorite cut of meat was “lomo”—the filet. It was the best steak I’ve ever had. I also ate “blood sausage” for the first time, which is tasty but gross in texture… and concept. Though I loved the restaurants in Buenos Aires, my favorite meal in Argentina was some BBQed short ribs that our Gaucho guides cooked for us in Mendoza. After taking a 3-hour horse ride (my first time on a horse!) through the foothills of the Andes, we galloped back to camp in the pouring rain. What awaited us was the amazing, rustic BBQ that you see in the picture above. Paired with a few (read: a lot) bottles of red wine, it was an exciting adventure and very delicious. Then we tried to recreate our own asado (BBQ) when we got back to Buenos Aires on Kate’s patio grill—check out that hunk of beef smothered in Chimichurri sauce below!

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Making Empanadas in Argentina

February 11, 2008

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The best thing I did in Buenos Aires? Take an amazing empanada cooking class with the lovely Teresita! It was so fun to see a real Porteno’s house, cook in her kitchen, and learn all her empanada secrets. We made 2 different types – one with beef, olives, egg, and raisins and one with sweet corn called “humita” (my favorite). Both types are classic Northern Argentina dishes. We even made the dough from scratch (see my lovely friend Kate’s kneading skills below). Once all our fillings were cooked and chilling in the fridge, Teresita taught us how to roll out the dough, fill the tiny empanada pockets, and close them with 2 different techniques that make 2 really beautiful designs. Then we baked a few of each and fried a few of each in sunflower oil. For the fried ones, Teresita sprinkled a bit of sugar on top and it was like eating a little piece of heaven. She also served some delicious white wine called Torrontes—which was the only white wine I drank in this red wine-centric country. I took copious notes, but I really wish my kitchen was a bit bigger and my oven a LOT bigger so I could make these for all my friends. Still, I’m going to try! It’s going to be hard since everything we learned was in the metric system, oy!

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