August 2, 2011
A lot can be gleaned from a visit to the local grocer when traveling. I think it's one of the most fascinating looks at a different culture–a peek into the pantries of the people. Food is a great connector–sharing something across the table creating bonds, sustaining people, perpetuating culture.
So what are the people of Argentina eating?
Fernet–along with other favorite mixers, like old-fashioned classics, Hesperidina and Legui…
Lots of red wine, naturally, sometimes cut with seltzer or soda water from a siphon bottle–collectors like the old-fashioned version, while the updated version is below…
Yerba Mate is the 'national drink' in Argentina, and also popular in neighboring Uruguay. While Yerba refers to the leaf of this grassy, strong tea, Mate refers to the gourd it is prepared in and drunk from. The tradition of drinking mate with a group of friends is still going strong in non-urban areas–sharing the gourd by passing it from friend to friend is a way to share friendship and time together. Alone, drinking mate is a quiet time of reflection.
Plenty of choices for every preference–con palo or sin palo, (with or without stems) infused with orange, lemon or mint…an entire aisle of yerba!
…even pre-made pionono cake rolls, ready to be filled with fillings both savory and sweet, a quick version of the homemade favorite. Several of them can be layered like a layer cake, with fillings like crema chantilly and cut strawberries, or dulce de leche…it's called bizcochuelo.
And speaking of dulce de leche–if you're not inclined to make your own at home, and want to skip the laborious and time consuming task of doing so, there's a rather large display and selection of pre-made dulce de leche at your disposal…made to be eaten in pastries, on toast, with sliced bananas, in cakes, in alfajores, over sliced peaches, or, if you're four years old, off of the finger you stuck right into the container…
Conclusion? A peep in at the shopping habits of Argentineans, from Fernet to Dulce de Leche–hope you've enjoyed a look at some of the classics!