Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Argentina-the good, the better and the gross

Argentina thus far has proven to be a meat lovers heaven...even more so than South Africa. The Argentine diet consists mainly of steak, steak and more steak with a side of sausage.

You can get steak at fast food places here and we're talking good steak. At parillas (restaurants with charcoal or wood fire grills) you can get amazing steaks and usually for under $10 USD.

Outside of steak (but not too far because sometimes they're stuffed with steak)another favorite down here is empanadas.

Delicious little savory meat pies...we've yet to have one that wasn't at least pretty darn good.

Dessert in Argentina means one thing...dulce de leche. No matter what dessert you order you better believe it is coming with a huge scoop of this decendent and sinful stuff. They even have their own "oreo" type cookie called alfajors which are stuffed with dulche de leche.

As you can imagine we're enjoying the fare in Argentina but that isn't to say we've not had any bad experiences.

Okay, so it was one bad experience, and it was totally me and it was stupid and the only reason I'm telling this story is because the Wife already told Dr. Pants without prior it's already out there.

Anyway, on our tour of the Andes we stopped in a tiny town (population 7, no joke) right by the Chile border. It was a very basic restaurant with a woman behind a counter with what was obviously some homemade dishes. It was cold, like snow on the ground cold, and I wanted some soup. I spied what I thought to be a chicken stew. I asked the woman "pollo?" to which she replied with a string of Spanish that I couldn't begin to decipher. I just nodded and said "si, load me up". At this point I was thinking it was a fish stew.

It wasn't until I sat down and got a good look at my plate that I realized this was no fish...I'd watched enough Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel to recognize cow stomach when it was on a plate in front of me.

Back before we left I really thought I'd be pretty brave about trying different foods. But, it seems that is not the case. A couple of pieces of stomach were hidden under my mashed potatoes so I did technically try it though. Really outside of the taste it was the texture was really the issue...and the look of it...not pretty.

The obvious lesson here is if you know the words for meats and you're told something you don't recongnize move it along and pick something else for God's sake!