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.

Long Weekend in Buenos Aires

(Photo by J-Cornelius)

The 9th of July is the Argentine Independence Day, so Monday will be a holiday. With the Caminos y Sabores taking place and the celebrations of the national festivity, the weekend promises to be full of tradition and local delicacies.

Saturday

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s famous one of a kind brunch! Soler 5862,  Palermo Hollywood.  3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

There will be Armenian celebrations at Avenida de Mayo and Bolivar starting at midday. Typical food and dances will be on display.

The annual Caminos y Sabores  regional food fair is the perfect chance to get to know the culinary traditions from around the country. The fair takes place from the 6th to the 9th of July at La Rural in Palermo. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo

A new exhibit on renowned Peruvian artist Fernando Bryce is being held at the MALBA until the 20th of August. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

At 4pm there will be a unique marimba presentation by Noriko Tsukagoshi at the Japanese Gardens. Book your place at 4804-9141 or at cultura@jardinjapones.org.ar. Av. Alcorta and Av. Caseres, Palermo.

Don’t miss the Colón Theatre’s production of La Sylphide (The Sylph). Choreography by Pierre Lacotte according to Filippo Taglioni, music by Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer, director- Javier Logioia.  3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th of July.  Tickets here.

Sunday

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s famous one of a kind brunch, now served on Saturdays too! Soler 5862,  Palermo Hollywood.  3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

The annual Caminos y Sabores  regional food fair is the perfect chance to get to know the culinary traditions from around the country. The fair takes place from the 6th to the 9th of July at La Rural in Palermo. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo

A new exhibit on renowned Peruvian artist Fernando Bryce is being held at the MALBA until the 20th of August. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

Starting at 4pm there will be a free eco/benefit concert, sponsored by Coca Cola at the Obelisk. The event will feature live music by local rock icon Vicentico and others, and will aim at collecting as many plastic bottles as possible from the crowds to later recycle them. The proceeds of the recycling of the bottles will go to providing water to a Santiago del Estero school.

Don’t miss the Colón Theatre’s production of La Sylphide (The Sylph). Choreography by Pierre Lacotte according to Filippo Taglioni, music by Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer, director- Javier Logioia.  3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th of July.  Tickets here.

Monday

Book your place for the special 9 de Julio brunch at Hernán Gipponi Restaurant. Soler 5862,  Palermo Hollywood.  3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

A new exhibit on renowned Peruvian artist Fernando Bryce is being held at the MALBA until the 20th of August. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

From 11-8pm there will be patriotic celebrations at the Feria de Mataderos where a special folklore festival will be held for the occasion. Av. Lisandro de la Torre and Av. De los Corrales, Mataderos.

At the Peña del Colorado there will be a special folklore concert by  Tomás Lipan at 12.30pm. In the evening they will hold their weekly tango peña with a milonga lesson at 8.30 pm and the peña at 10pm. Guemes 3657, Palermo. 4822-1038.

From 8pm-10pm the popular drum orchestra La Bomba del Tiempo will  be holding their weekly percussion fest with special gusts  Richard Serranía and Lucas Kinoshita from Brazil and Marc Shulman from New York. Sarmiento 3131, Abasto.

Membrillo

(Photo by jlastras)

Those who have taken a liking to the local pastries may have noticed that many come with a filling of Quince Jam (Membrillo). This fruit preserve, which was brought to Argentina by the Spaniards, is very popular in local sweets and deserts, including the aforementioned pastries, quince pies and combined with cheese for the typical “queso y dulce” desert. Allthough it is definitely not as popular as dulce de leche, the crimson sweet tart jam with a grainy texture is the favorite of those who prefer something less sugary and rich. We suggest you try it and if you like it you can take this recipe back home with you as a souvenir.

Quince Jam

Ingredients:

1 kilo/ 2 lbs of Quince

700 gr/  3 ½ cups of sugar

1- Boil the quince with the skin on for ten minutes.

2- Rinse and peel the quince, halve and discard the seeds.

3- Process the quince pulp in a food processor or blender.

4- Place the blended quince in a pot and add ¾ cups of sugar for every cup of quince.

5- Cook on very low heat whilst stirring with a wooden spoon for 30-45 minutes or until the quince pulls away from the pot.

6-  Pour the quince jam into a wet tube pan and cool.

7-  Remove jam from the pan and wrap in foil

8-  Serve a slice of quince jam with a slice of cheese or keep in the refrigerator.

Delicious Fainá

(Photo by mteson)

If you are one of the many who have been seduced by the local pizza then you have probably seen or tried “fainá”. This flat “bread” made with chickpea flour, water  and olive oil was incorporated to the local cuisine by the Italian immigrants (who fortunately also brought pizza to go with it and ice-cream for dessert!).

The proper way to eat it Buenos Aires style is under a slice of pizza, preferably “fugazzeta” which is made with onion and cheese and is a classic! (Or if you’re a vegan or a celiac you can enjoy it plain, just make sure previously that they don’t mix cheese or white flour into their recipe).

Fainá is also so easy to make that if you’re feeling nostalgic for your days in BA you can just bake some and relive the experience! We have included a recipe below.

Ingredients

250 grams of chickpea flour

600 milliliters of water

3 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Whisk the chickpea flour, salt, pepper(optional) and water until you obtain a homogenous liquid batter. Let it sit.

Meanwhile warm the oven to 180 C and pour the olive oil on a baking sheet or pizza pan.

Place the baking sheet/pizza pan in the oven to warm the oil and once it is warm take it out of the oven and pour the batter into it. Then place it back into the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, until the batter becomes solid and the fainá is golden on top.

How to Make Dulce de Leche

(Photo by Sunday Driver)

Those who have been to Argentina will surely agree that dulce de leche is an instantly acquired taste, and have probably taken some back home with them. Now we challenge you to try making your own!

You will need:

-A copper pot
-1 litre of milk
– 200 grams of sugar
-1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in half a cup of water
– Vanilla extract (approximately a tablespoon or to taste)

Begin by bringing the milk and sugar to a boil on a very low fire and stirring constantly.
Slowly add the dissolved baking soda and vanilla, continue stirring.
Continue to cook until it acquires the typical brown color of this dulce de leche. (It will take approximately 2 hours).

Let us know how it went and how you like to eat your dulce de leche the most!