January 23, 2011

Argentina Food

Many other folks have written extensively about the amazing food of Argentina.

So, I'll just keep it to photos with minimal comments.

First, there is the glorious culture of the parilla:



Which results in juicy awesome steaks (Note: contrary to popular opinion, in our experience, the word Jugoso will get you a rare steak.):






But, the appetizers were the big surprise. Salads -- construct them from the ingredients on the menu. And, if you've never had fresh hearts of palm, order some palmitos. The fresh meristem of the palm has to be one of the most wonderously delicious vegetables on the planet (and, it's healthy!) Think artichoke hearts without the chokey flavor and an order of magnitude more succulent and yummy. Simply add a little balsamic vinegar, and some olive oil, and you are in heaven.



At one lunch, when I ordered sautéed vegetables as a break from the meat orgy, I was blessed with palm stringy things. I asked and more or less understood them to be related to hearts of palms, but easier to come by (and slightly less delicious, but still oh-so-salivation-inducing-tasty). Yet, upon arrival back home, despite at least 5 minutes of internet research, I was unable to identify what they were.



At the time, the server seemed so complacent that I figured it would be easy to figure out. But Google has thwarted me and instead distracted me to this hilarious video about someone stealing palm trees.

Back to Argentina. Have you heard of Empanadas?



Ay! Dios Mio! Que rico! And baked. The baked ones are to die for. They come in vegetarian cheesy goodness with tomatoes and other veggies, and of course, a full selection of meaty varieties, including chicken with curry flavors, which surprised me. I am sad that the ones we have in California are almost always fried. On the other hand, I'm trying to be caloricly deficient since our return, to eliminate the excess of Argentina that attached itself to me. So perhaps I'm not that sad...

And, now, to my favorite appetizer: Provoleta.

A huge hunk of locally made cow's milk cheese covered with herbs and grilled? As a starter? What a wonderful thing!

And, if you are lucky, you can order Provoleta a la napoletana or Provoleta completa which comes with ham and an onion tomato garlic sauce or just fresh chopped onions and tomatoes. Either way, it's a brilliant appetizer and I wonder why, with all of the Real California Cheese marketing they haven't figured out that this is an easy way to convince diners to order and consume half a pound of cheese, no problem.





Ahumados. Smoked Goodness. Ciervo (venison), Trucha (trout, including pink trout, delicious!), and Fabali (wild boar), plus, of course, queso (cheese, which they often interlace in meats prior to smoking... how cool is that?)

8 comments:

Cathy said...

Ever been to Bali? Just got back from there. They do some really amazing things with pork...

bt said...

No. But beaches and amazing things with pork sounds awesome.

a said...

great pictures! also, agree that beaches and amazing things with pork sound awesome.

Arvay said...

Oooooo!

Aaaahhhh!

Cathy said...

The pork is better than the beaches, actually...

I really want to go find some Balinese food around here, but it seems that the best I might be able to find is Indonesian food. Problem: Bali is predominantly Hindu, so they do amazing things with pork. The rest of Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, so they don't. So I'm not optimistic I'm going to be able to find any amazing Indonesian pork at a local restaurant :-(

Madge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madge said...

Could your mystery vegetables be Crosnes? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_affinis) my CSA newsletter was talking about them last week, and your photos look similar.

-Kathleen

Madge said...

Or! Much more likely, they're pacayas: http://antiguadailyphoto.com/2009/01/11/guatemalan-cuisine-pacayas/

I was just in the local Mexican market, and they have huge jars of them (probably pickled) for five bucks apiece.