I have had an AMAZING experience in Brazil and Argentina (and Paraguay for a few hours). I met some great people, ate yummy food, had awfully fun experiences, and went on a culinary adventure. The next few dishes describe the unique experience I had over the past ten days.
The Food: Top Five Dishes
One of the top foods to consider trying in Argentina is steak. According to people I have talked to, Argentinian steak beef is very expensive and some of the best around. Even though I dislike steak, I had to try it. If I didn’t like it, that truly means that steak is not my thing. But, this dish really nailed my palate: it was perfectly seasoned and a good mix of flavor. It was a little too done for my taste (I like it raw), but it was still an excellent meal.
I already love many things having to do with coconut: oil, milk, and water. And what is more tropical than sitting on the beach in Rio de Janeiro and drinking water out of the fruit itself. You just went up to the booth and the server sliced it open. Once you were done with the water inside, you go back to the server so they can cut it into pieces and then you eat out the inside. Delicious!
This food has been dubbed a superfood in America and thus warrants a crazy price mark-up. In Brazil, it is nothing too special; it is simply a fruit similar to a blueberry. I particularly enjoyed the preparation: freeze the fruit, puree, and serve in a bowl with topping. It winds up tasting just like ice cream. And who doesn’t love ice cream on the beach?
4. Soup Buffet
In Brazil, buffets are all the rage. The most unique one I found was a soup buffet. I tried several different types of soups: black beans (which had non-gluten-free orzo in it), asparagus mixed with four cheese, lentil soup mixed with the onion soup, canjiquinha (sweet corn soup), and the dessert soup (some white corn pudding). Add-ins included parsley, pancetta, heart of palm paste, olive paste, chili oil, shredded coconut and cinnamon. I filled up on the soup that it was totally worth not ordering anything a la carte.
5. Choclo Tart
This was the only proper meal I had in Argentina, but man, did I enjoy it! I love anything corn-based, mostly due to the gluten-free factor. “Choclo” means Ear of the Corn. Though the tart part of it is not favorable towards my diet, I still devoured the whole thing since I did not eat breakfast that day and it was getting pretty late. I do really hope to recreate a gluten-free friendly version, so look out for that!
The Clothes: Layering–The RIGHT Way
The weather ranged from kind of wintery to summer over the course of the 10 day trip. I packed just enough clothing for those ten days. In terms of layering, I had to get creative, but the general principle remained the same: the layers should be easy to remove and easy to put back on. My staples were a hat, a scarf, a tank top, and some kind of covering. I brought a black cardigan and a grey hoodie, which I wore over the cardigan due to sleeve length. If I got warm, I just took some off, starting with the hoodie and working my way in. See photos below.
I had a completely magical time and I highly suggest that if you have the means, go to Argentina and Brazil. Every time I go to South America, I am pleasant surprised and thirsty for more.
Keep it adventurous,
Next week: Buns made of sweet potato? Don’t mind if I do!