This one month in Buenos Aires has been deliciously unhealthy. Here I share some photos of my daily diet…
Argentines love their meat. Though they are most famous for their beef (carne de vacuna), they do also enjoy their pollo (chicken), chorizo and cerdo (pork). In the picture above, I’m enjoying a milanesa de pollo a la napolitana (breaded chicken with ham, cheese and tomato sauce) with pure de papas (mashed potatos). My friend sitting opposite me has ordered bife de chorizo (sirloin strip steak), calabaza relleno (stuffed squash) and pure de papas (mashed potatoes). Yum.
Medialunas are the Argentine equivalent of a croissant. They are similar to croissants but softer and less flakey. This one I’m having happens to also be stuffed with dulce de leche because of course the butter and icing sugar isn’t rich enough. My roommate is having a cortado – a small cup of coffee with a dash of milk. Always served with a tiny glass of agua con gas (sparkling water) and some galletitas (biscuits).
Argentines love their desserts, and there is no shortage of dulces to indulge your sweet tooth. Moreover, icecream is incredibly popular here and almost every block will have a heladeria, serving delicious gelato-like icecreams. My favorite flavor? Dulce de leche con brownie!
Another favorite, found in all kiosks and tiendas (stores) here are alfajores, a biscuit sandwich with dulce de leche in the middle (obviously). There are several brands and one alfajor costs anywhere between 3 to 10 pesos. The one photographed above is my favorite.
Drinking mate is an art. We had a workshop on it at school, where I learned how to pour the yerba (at an angle), how to position the straw (where it stays…no swirling around), and the general customs involved with drinking it socially (everyone drinks from one cup, prepared and passed around each time by the host). The actual taste…was a little too bitter for me (think strong green tea mixed with cigarette smoke), but people here love it.
Choripan – chorizo + pan (bread) – is the Argentine version of a hotdog. Often served with various condiments, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. My favorite was at Choripoint (on Avenida Sante Fe near the Palermo subway stop) and the street vendors near the Reserva Ecologica behind Puerto Madero (photographed above).
Empanadas are another popular snack in Argentina, found on every corner, and due to their low price (5-7 pesos), they have become a staple in my diet. Filling options include carne (beef), pollo (chicken), queso (cheese), calabaza (squash), humita (corn), verduras (veggies) and more.
And then of course, due to the large Italian influence here, pizza and pasta are common food items offered in most cafes and restaurants. I personally would prefer a little more spice in the cuisine here in general, but other than that, don’t have much to complain about. For people looking for other types of ethnic cuisines, Buenos Aires offers a decent restaurant scene and there are a couple great healthy places to eat at as well with many vegetarian options, such as this one in Palermo Soho:
Finally, one of my favorite meals in Buenos Aires was at a “Puerta Cerrada,” which consisted of a 5-course meal with wine at a closed door restaurant in a top chef’s house. A very unique experience, with delicious food and great company for a fraction of the price I would have paid for a similar experience in New York. For more information on the Puerta Cerrada concept, click here or here.
So how does one avoid gaining weight while maintaining a diet such as mine in Buenos Aires? By spending the day exploring the city by foot and dancing the night away at a milonga, salsa club or boliche 😉