Off the Beaten Path: Day Trip to Gouin

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PH Mauricio Genta

Buenos Aires is a large province, and although known for its vibrant city capital, there are many small towns in the city outskirts that preserve a local feel which remits to another time in history. One such place is Gouin where the old train station, traditional lunching spots and open countryside make for an inviting quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The town is a 2 hour drive away from the city center,  10km off from the larger Carmen de Areco (not to be confused with San Antonio de Areco), which is also an interesting place to stop by. It has only 122 inhabitants, a small church, a park, an old train station and three lunch spots:

Restaurante La Estación in the old train station. 02273- 15-406056

Pulpería Don Tomás which serves cold cuts, homemade pasta and asados prepared by the owners.  02273-15-406865 / 02325-15-657425

Pulpería “La Mora” on Calle Andrade y Rivadavia  attended by a lady called Carmen López. Cel: 02273-15-409706

The town’s attractions include the chapel, the San Martín park and a fair with regional products in front of the park that opens on weekends.

Top 5 Alfajores

(Photo by Silvio Tanaka)

The alfajor is a typical sandwich like snack made up of two “cookies” usually filled by, you guessed it, dulce de leche, (although there are variety’s filled with fruit jams and chocolate as well) and covered in chocolate, confectionary, sugar or coconut. Each region of the country has its own type of alfajor, which varies its fillings and dough type. The most well known are the Cordoba alfajores, with an airy dough typically filled with fruit jams and chocolate and coated with a sugar glaze, the northern alfajores which are often filled with meringue, and the coast alfajores which have a more compact dough and are generally covered in chocolate. Below are our favorite five for you to seek and sample.

Havanna: This famous Mar del Plata alfajor company is probably the best-known producer of these top-quality treats. Their chocolate alfajor is what made them famous and it is everything it should be, plus, they are easy to find and can be bought at the airport to take back home.

Estancia el Rosario: This is the epitome of the Cordoba alfajor and is quite different from the coast versions we usually get in Buenos Aires.  Their must try`s are the fruit filled kind, which is typical of this region, and their dulce de leche ones are also sublime. Find the addresses of stores in Buenos Aires that sell their products here.

La Olla de Cobre:  Although not so readily available as the other two, these Areco delicacies are well worth the trip to the countryside. Plus this is a great place for chocolate too, made from scratch starting from the processing of the cacao bean to the delicious end product.

Tresam: These extra sized alfajores come from Rosario and are filled with top quality San Ignacio dulce de leche. They are most well known for their alfajor de maizena, which is made with cornflour and decorated on the sides with coconut.

Del Tucuman: As the name suggests these traditional delicacies come from the North of the country. Their typical alfajor is called cicero or casita, and is filled with meringue and cane sugar; a totally different alfajor from what we generally see in Buenos Aires.