It doesn’t matter what kind of cooking magician you may be, it’s nearly impossible to whip up a great meal without starting with a fantastic product. Fresh, high quality, in season, and carefully treated with respectful and passionate hands, 80% of creating wonders in the kitchen commences with a killer ingredient. Amateurs, professionals, home cooks or chef wannabes, if you follow this guide of where to buy the best food Buenos Aires has to offer, there’s no excuse not to surround yourself with an edible dream team.
Organised by GAJO, a group of young Argentine chefs using local products to take their cuisine to a new level, Masticar was certainly the largest such event Buenos Aires has seen, with producers, food stands and wine tastings in abundance. Although no fixed date has been set for round two, now that summer is drawing to a close it can’t be far off. In the meantime, here’s the lowdown on where to get a farmers’ market experience in BA.
“Help! I’m a vegetarian in Argentina and I may throw myself off La Boca’s Transbordador bridge if I have to eat another ensalada mixta.” If you’re a non-meateater in one of the most carnivorous countries in the world, you know what I am talking about. There are good days (falafel from Sarkis) and bad days (when you ravenously create make-shift chimichurri sandwiches from the parrilla bread basket).
It’s easy to get carried away with the stereotypical image of Argentina as the land of red meat, but there is far more to Argentine cuisine than empanadas and steak. Which is obvious when you think of the ingredients that make up this country – Hispanic, pre-colonial and endless waves of immigrants, all mixed together in a rich stew. Scratch a little deeper and you will uncover all kinds of other influences. The country’s modern chefs have drawn on regional dishes beyond the Pampa and its famous grass-fed beef cattle…
Although the differences between natural, live and organic foods are not always clear due to people’s unfamiliarity with the concepts, rest assured that cafés, restaurants, markets and shops using these terms are trying to educate the pizza-and empanada-eating brigade to show that organic Argentine food exists, even if it isn’t stamped.