Monthly Archives: January 2016

Local food of Argentina

Whilst in Argentina we ate so much food it would be rude not to share our mouthwatering experiences with you all! Our first post was obviously about their amazing meat! It’s not all about the meat… It’s about meat, mate and dulce de leche….

Choripan (chorizo in bread)

Is a typical a South American snack we had our first taste near the nature reserve in Buenos Aires. The chorizo is more like a sausage rather than the cured meat as we know it. They had a variety of condiments and salad to accompany it but our friend told us that adding anything but chimichurri will ruin it jaja(haha)! Chimichurri is a sauce made with parsley, garlic, oil, vinegar and oregano and its added it to lots of dishes especially asado(BBQ).




Empanadas are delicious pastry snacks with many fillings available such as jamon y queso (ham and cheese) Carne (mince), Caprese (cheese, tomato and basil) , queso y cebola (cheese and onion) Pollo (chicken). They are pretty similar to a Cornish pasties at home but much lighter and tastier! You can have them fried or baked obviously the fried ones taste nicer but are less healthy. You must try them while in Argentina they are the perfect snack on the go.





We went to the best pizza place in Buenos Aires “El Cuarito” It was so busy there were no tables to sit but you could order take away or one slice and stand at the ledge it was a great atmosphere but would of been nicer with some space instead of being elbowed by the guy next to us who liked his space! South Americans like pizza with a chunky base and a mountain of cheese. We were advised to have a “fugazzeta” which is cheese and onion. We only managed one slice but it was yummy!!


Argentina has a huge Italian influence therefore they eat a lot of pasta. Most places sell fresh pasta and we got to try typical ravioli stuffed with spinach and a creamy sauce it was lovey. Even the dried packaged pasta is very tasty compared to the one we buy at home. We went to the small country shop which sold lots of fresh products such as cheese,cured meats, bread, homemade dulce de leche, herbs and spices. They also had a variety of freshly picked mushrooms from just a few fields away! We snapped up some mushrooms and goats cheese and Chris made a delicious pasta for lunch!


Dulce de leche

It translates as sugar and milk and is basically caramel that Argentinians use for absolutely everything, breakfast on bread, crackers, add onto fruit, over any deserts and if you buy any sweet or cakes it’s sure to have dulce de leche on it or inside. One night we went a walk around Recoleta and stopped for ice cream. Of course we had to try dulce de leche ice cream. It almost tasted like our Scottish tablet ice cream!

Here is Chris enjoying a typical breakfast of mate and dulce de leche on crackers and Messi copying him haha!


Yerba Mate

Mate is a herbal tea enjoyed in many countries in South America. It is traditionally drank out a gourd (made from cabaça fruit shell) filled 3/4 with mate leaves and then add hot water. The water is not boiled as using boiling water has links to being carcinogenic, this is only connected to the temperature of the tea and not the tea its self. The kettles even have a mate setting. It is then drank through a bombilla (metal straw) it can be very bitter when you first try but as you get used to it it tastes good and refreshing. We were lucky enough to already like mate as we enjoyed it with South American friends in Australia. It is normal meet up with friends for mate where it is sort of a ritual: The person in charge of the mate will pour in the water and pass around everyone always going back to the same person to refill with water.




Panaderia (bakery)

There are many local bakeries all around. We had a wonderful experience in the local one in Dolores. Although we couldn’t speak Spanish the baker was so friendly our friend translated for us. She told us she would love to visit Europe and gave us lots of freebies because she wanted us to try them. She was so sweet! And the pastries and treats were out of this world. Just the sugar rush we needed for our hangover! There are many types of sweets alfajores which is typically three layers of sponge put together with dulce de leche you can by many different types of these prepacked but they don’t taste as good as freshly made that day! They have many pastries or croissants either sweet or salty and you will find some with dulce de leche or quince and custard. Quince paste is kind of like a jam made from the Quince fruit which they also enjoy along with cheese for desert.



Look out soon for our blog on healthy eating. This delicious food has gave us some inspiration to eat healthy on the road.. Let’s see how the temptation goes!!!



Dolores, Argentina


This is a average size town 2 hours south of Buenos Aires. It’s a very famous stop for people travelling from Buenos Aires to the beach at Mara Del Plata. It’s exactly halfway between the two so is the perfect place to stop for lunch. The town offers many asado grills at the side of the road as you enter Dolores from the highway. There are also lots of street vendors selling local products such as fruit, honey and cheese in this part of town to cater for the many tourist who are passing through.

The highlights for us were;

Parque libres del Sur

This local park is well designed with plenty of seating areas. It has a 1k track where the locals go to walk, jog, run and cycle round. The park was full of huge beautiful trees and had a pond with some islands that had bridges connecting them to the walkway. We cycled to the park on bikes that were over 40 years old and went round 10 times. The area is so flat it is perfect for cycling and the vintage bikes handled it no problem, they reminded us of the bikes you find in Amsterdam. While we were cycling round the park we saw a snake on the path and Chris turned in to his version of Steve Irwin and jumped off the bike to get a closer look and he even managed to catch it on video.

Lago Parque Nautico

This lake was maybe 2k outside of town but it was worth the journey to sit by the lakeside on such a beautiful afternoon. We stopped for a while to chat,drink some yerba mate and eat some traditional biscuits. This is a very typical activity that friends and families in Argentina (and many South American countries) do to get together and catch up. There was a variety of birds around the area and as the sun was beginning to set we saw lots of wild Guinea pigs running around the grass on our way back.

The big country house

Although this is no longer usually open to tourists we managed to get in for a look as Pancho’s dad was friends with the owner so he allowed us to go for a walk in the grounds. As its a few kilometers outside of town we got to go for a drive in the Dolores country side which was beautiful. We saw cows, Eagles, tiny birds and a variety of plants and trees along the way. To our amazement we saw a little bit of Scotland in Argentina as there were thistles growing along the roadside and in the fields. The roads on the way up here were all dirt so they were very uneven and bumpy, they could only be accessed by car during the dry season. Just before the entrance to the house we came to a locked gate so we jumped over and Pancho’s Dad shouted to the gaucho (farm worker or cowboy) to say we were here. The gaucho came riding down the field on his big black horse, it was like a scene out of an old movie. He opened the gate and he took us up to the house. It was a magnificent white building surrounded by well kept gardens and had its own church, pool, guesthouse and meeting rooms. This place looked, sounded and smelt like bliss I could definitely imagine living here with the beautiful nature. Minus the swarm of bees we had to skip over in the entrance.

“The legend behind the original owner of this house is that he was a worker for a landowner who owned many thousands of acres in this area. One day his boss was going to Europe and said to him he would give him a hectare of land for every tree he planted while he was on his trip. Needless to say the land is completely full of trees. So the owner came back and found that he had to give this massive estate to the worker who then built this beautiful house. Money really does grow on trees for some people!!!”


The sports club

This is where we went for the swimming pool. It is a private members club, luckily Pancho was a member and could sign us in as guests. We didn’t expect such luxury, it was like a 5* VIP resort. There were sports courts for tennis, football, ect. A huge kids play park, a restaurant and a swimming pool. It was a very hot day so we decided to chill drinking mate and having a swim the water was very cold though and Chris ended up quite sun burnt. This is definitely not our typical backpacking experience so we made the most of it although we relaxed here so much that we forgot to take photos.

On the outskirts of town there is another area for football where you can hire the pitches. Before we left the boys managed to get a game of football organised with Panchos friends Chris even managed a goal for Scotland.

In Dolores we got to see the traditional way that people from Argentina would let others know that their car is for sale. This is by sitting an old yellow bleach bottle full of water on the top of the car. When going around we saw many cars with these bottles on the roof. I think its a good idea as it serves as a for sale sign where the buyer must knock on the door of the owner then try to negotiate a price to buy rather than the owner listing a price and the buyer trying to get a discount straight away.


We would recommend traveling through Dolores if you would like to see some real Argentinian countryside and get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. We were lucky enough to stay with our friend in his mothers beautiful old style house. There is plenty to do in Dolores and the people are friendly even although we didn’t have much Spanish we found they were willing to help us with a big smile on their faces.






Buenos Aires

We spent 5 days in Buenos Aires and these are some of the places we recommend you visit but by no means all that this beautiful city has to offer.

Plaza de San Martin
This is a park that has many large trees that have been allowed to stay in the city as it had developed which makes it a beautiful place to walk or sit and relax and people watch for an hour or 2. This spot is very central so there are lots of places around to go for a coffee or a bite to eat.

Cambio (currency exchange)
The main place for cambio is Florida street just off San Martin plaza. This street begins next to the tourist information office about 100m from the subway exit. At this point there are still many people offering currency exchange at a better rate than the banks but as Argentina has recently appointed a new president who has lifted some restrictions on acquiring us$ this might change in the near future. This rate is referred to as the blue dollar rate or black market currency. The Argentine peso has 2 rates the official rate that was overvalued by the government restricting the amount of dollars that residents could purchase and the blue rate that would be offered at the cambio which was needed for locals to acquire dollars easily. Now that the sanctions have been lifted the official rate has came back to within a peso or 2 per dollar difference with the blue rate, compared to only last month when the blue rate would fetch almost 6 pesos more per US dollar.image

Clock tower
Close to San Martin plaza now known as the Torre Monumental. It was previously known as the Torre de la Inglis but was renamed after the Falklands war. Although many locals still use this name to describe it. It’s a nice tower to see if you are in the area and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.



Puente de la mujer (Woman’s bridge)

This bridge is located in the Puerto Madero area. It’s a large rotating bridge that moves 90 degrees to allow ships to pass. It’s worth getting some photos of then crossing on the way from the central city toward the nature reserve.


Reserva ecológica (Nature reserve)

This is located in the newer part of town Puerto Madero where there are some high residential buildings. There is a lovely walk along the riverfront that has many statues of famous sporting icons from over the years. At the end of the walk you can cross the water onto the nature reserve. This is a great spot to see many birds and butterflies as well as some turtles in the pond as you enter. We spent an hour or so walking in the reserve but you could easily spend longer and it has many great spots to sit with some mate and relax.


Plaza de Mayo (May Square)
This is the main square in central Buenos Aires, where the Pirámde de Mayo is located. this is the oldest national monument in the city of Buenos Aires. It began construction in 1811 to celebrate the first anniversary of the may revolution. The Plaza de Mayo is also where many political demonstrations take place. There have been protests here since the before the independence of Argentina and this was the main location for independence protests at that time due to its central location and being close to the parliament buildings. When we visited there were some protests going on regarding war veterans rights.

Casa rosada (pink house)
This building is the main workplace of the president. It’s interesting to visit although we were only able to take photos from outside. There are free tours available to tourists usually just we were unlucky the day we were there it was closed to the public.
Post office this is a spectacular building that now houses the largest cultural centre in Latin America. Unfortunately this was also closed the day we were there due to the mass firing of public sector workers the day before. We were told that the centre can receive up to 10,000 visitors per day and it’s free to enter when open to the public.


A more upmarket area of town with lots of places to eat and drink as well as many park areas to sit and drink mate. The main highlights that we found are the;

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National museum of fine arts) located close to the flower and law university. This gallery has many paintings dating back as far as the 16th century. It’s free to visit and is worth a few hours to escape from the midday sun.

Cementerio de la Recoleta (Recoleta Cematery)

This cemetery is located in the middle of Recoleta close to many restaurants and the main square. The Cemetery it’s self is surrounded by a high wall with a large gate at the entrance. It’s open from 9am-6pm daily and is worth a visit. This is where many famous Argentinians come to rest in peace. The list of people who lay here include former presidents, celebrities, Nobel prize winners and even napoleons granddaughter. Some of the grave sites are spectacular with statues of the people outside of their tombs, while others have not been maintained very well with lots of broken windows, cracked bricks and tiles.

Floralis genérica

The flower sculpture located close to the law university. It’s a great place to walk during the day and relax in the grasslands surrounding it, also at night it gets lit up beautifully. The flower will be opened up to show it in bloom if you visit during spring or closed over like a bud during the other seasons. We saw it in the bud stage during summer and it was well worth a visit. Unfortunately when we visited we had no battery left in our camera for photos.

Basílica Nuestra Señora del Pillar (Our Lady of the Pillar Church)


Nightlife @ La Bomba de Tiempo

We experienced a underground style club with music played with a focus on bongo drums. This is not as typical to Argentine as it had a more Brazilian feel to it. It was like an orchestra setting with a conductor keeping everyone on the right beat. The atmosphere was excellent and music was good. Entrance fee was relatively good at 110 pesos around £6 each. The drinks were average price with quite a poor selection of choice on offer as the only sold 1 type of beer 80 pesos for 1Litre and red wine only even although Nic ordered a white wine which was on the menu. The system of ordering drinks was pretty strange and rather pointless as you had to join a queue at 1 side of the entrance hall to order and pay them you had to walk over to the other side to join another queue to receive our drinks from the bar. This would have been fine but we had to get beer from the middle of the hall then wine from the other side and finally water from the left of the beer line. After all of our queuing it was time to go for a dance. We were very lucky as we had the chance to meet up with some locals who were friends of Pancho’s. Some of them had good English and gave us some valuable advice for places to visit while in their country. After the club closed at 10 we went out for some pizza and empanadas. This was an amazing first night to shine some light on the wonderful Argentine culture.



4days of meat meat and more meat!!!!

Well we’ve been in Argentina for a week and feel like we have already consumed our body weight in MEAT!! It’s gotta be done while in Argentina and when offered to have asado (traditional barbecue) all weekend you really can’t say no! When ordering the meat at the carnicería (butcher) its normal to order half a kilo of meat per person!!  I think when we leave Argentina we will need to turn veggie for at least a week!  We have tried some lovely typical food but of course we should start with steak since we are in the steak capital of the world.

Traditional Asado (BBQ)

   In Buenos Aires we wandered around the streets and found a nice restaurant to attempt to order a steak in Spanish. Chris done really well and managed to order a bife de chorizo con papas fritas for him and a bife de chorizo con salada for me. Bife de chorizo is what Argentinians call a sirloin steak. We even manage to order a bottle of vino Rosso (red wine) and a bottle of Agua sin gas (still water). The steaks were delicious and very juicy, the chips were a bit under cooked but the salad was lovely and fresh. Our first steak was overall a good experience.

Medio raro bife de chorizo

    On Friday we had traveled two hours down to our friends hometown of Dolores. His dad offered to cook us asado (Argentine BBQ) He got the typical meats such as chorizo, riñón (kidney), chinchulines (intestines), morcilla  (a type of black pudding) and a huge pierna de cordero (leg of lamb). He stuffed the lamb with breadcrumbs, pepper, onion and garlic and fired it on the grill. We had the morcilla cold and it tasted ok but I would have preferd it hot. I felt like I was doing a bush tucker trial with the intestines it was extra crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. I let Chris finish mine at least I tried it. The kidney was better than expected and actually nicer than kidney we would have in our good old steak and kidney pie. The chorizo was mega tasty it was more of a flavoured sausage rather than the cured meat as we know it. Last but not least of course the lamb was absolutely to die for!! Amazing first Assado experience!!!

Saturday was party night Pancho was grill master tonight and a bunch of his friends were coming round. He had bought asado (this is also a cut from the ribs), bife de chorizo, chorizo, morcilla and tapa de asado (rib cap). All of the meats were deliciously cooked on the parrillia (grill) and served with lots of salad and bread. One of Pancho’s friends had brought round his own chimichurri sauce which complimented the meat perfectly. We had a great night with lots of wine and beer being consumed. Although some of Pancho’s friends didn’t speak English it was amazing how much you can be involved in the atmosphere through body language, expressions and our small understanding of Spanish. As we thought the party was dying off at 5am, we found out it was just time to go to the pub which is totally normal?!? In the bar we tried a home brewed beer which I didn’t find too nice or maybe I was just in need of my bed!

“Delicioso” Assado!!

On Sunday Chris being a chef of course he wanted a shot of being grill master so we headed to the supermarket and bought a 2.2kg cut of vacío (flank) to share between 4 people. We also got some fresh corn and peppers to grill and some nice salad to top up our vitamin intake. He set up the asado without any help the correct Argentinian way. The meat was again delicious. I really don’t think you could beat the steaks in Argentina as the cows are well looked after and look very healthy when you see them in the spacious fields with lush green grass. Pancho’s Dad gave us a few of his traditional recipes to experiment with when we get a chance, look out for when we post about making them!! He also told us to open an Argentine steak house at home and he will visit us. Maybe one day eh? Since we are catching our dreams!



Look out for our next post on more delicious Argentinian food: Choripan, Empanadas, Italian influence and Sweets!