May 5, 2009
We're driving out of Mendoza to search for a small family-owned olive oil press. We're lost, and the drive is just far enough out of Mendoza and just long enough after breakfast that by the time we reach the pueblito of San Martin, my stomach is rumbling.
And luckily, we come across this chicken stand, where a giant parilla loaded with chicken that was pressed under the weight of a big pizza pan. Of course, I had to stop and take photos, and sample the wares. We had a nice chat with the owner, whose family was also there. The sun–a blazing summer hot, the barbecue; even hotter.
Any traveler knows that the best-kept culinary secrets of a place are often found on the street, and I have to say Argentina certainly proves this point–they have great street food in spades. Sampling street food gives a person an authentic bite of culture and makes for an unforgettable memory.
This chicken was salty, juicy, and actually tasted like chicken, something you forget until you taste the real thing. Another good reason to eat free-range–this little guy was probably running around in the brush near this rural village the week before. It will go down in my personal history as some of the best chicken, ever.
We departed with a greasy-fingered wave. And drove on to that family-owned olive oil press. But the best thing to happen on that trip was getting lost and taking a chicken-y detour. The moral of the story: Travel often, and eat street food!
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