In a country where Malbec is king, cocktails sometimes take a back seat to wine in Argentina’s party capital. Despite the rich history of classic porteño cantinas, only in the past decade have bars in Buenos Aires begun to pay homage to the art of creating the perfect mixed drink. In recent years the bar scene has undergone a major transformation with inventive cocktails replacing pedestrian drinks, the emergence of fully stocked bars catering to the seasoned spirit drinker, and skilled bartenders emerging as celebrated mixologists.
This Christmas we’re trading the turkey for asado, mince pies for pan dulce and After Eights for turrón – and we want YOU to enjoy this real Argentinian Christmas with us.
“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).
How did the Welsh end up in Patagonia? To a certain extent, they fell victim to a dodgy marketing campaign. Feeling threatened by English dominance in the 1800s, they were looking for a place to relocate to in order to protect their language and culture. Originally, this was set to be Vancouver Island in Canada…
A traditional Latin American Christmas is celebrated on the 24th – known as Noche Buena – not the 25th. The big meal happens after the sun starts to go down, and then it’s straight into party mode, meaning there’s a lot less time (ie none) for TV specials and charades. However, there’s plenty of time for eating.
It is estimated that up to 25 million Argentines can trace their family roots back to Italy and so it is no surprise that, aside from the great asado, the country’s most popular cuisine takes its influence from this part of the world. One of the great things about Buenos Aires is the abundance of fresh pasta – in supermarkets, listed on the chalkboard at your local bodegón, or in your neighbourhood pasta store.
After their football team, the object of Argentines’ national pride is their meat – and they have every right to revel in one of the deadly sins. It’s widely accepted to be some of the best in the world and, as a consequence, they also indulge in another deadly sin: gluttony.
It goes without saying that meat is the biggest player in the Argentinian diet. Our roast pork belly recipe, by chef Matías Podestá, is representative of a typical Argentine dish, with an emphasis on a large, simply seasoned piece of meat accompanied by a typical fiery kick.
Cooking with wine means you are compelled to uncork a bottle at least an hour before you otherwise would, and to drink a glass or two at least an hour before you probably should. This is self-evidently a good thing.
Of all the national dishes on offer throughout the country, empanadas are especially evocative of Argentina food and culture. In this delicious empanada recipe, we’ll be going showing you how to prepare ossobuco empanadas topped with hot tomatoes and baked red onion sauce.