Sweet Stuff in Argentina
Buenos Aires is a big city, the biggest I’ve lived in by a long shot. It’s also a city filled with all things sweet. One thing that you will (unfortunately) almost never find here is something spicy. Don’t listen to what they tell you, the food will not be spicy. What Buenos Aires lacks in spicy it definitely makes up for with sweetness though. It’s a place where the sugar packets are three times as large as any I’ve found in the US. Here are three sweet things to treat your tastebuds on in the Paris of the south:
Dulce de Leche
The popularity of this caramel colored spread is on par with peanut butter in the States. You can find it on anything from crepes (called panqueques) to ice cream. The Starbucks here even has a dulce de leche latte. The original spread is sweet, sticky, and generally tastes a little like a thick, spreadable caramel. My friends and I have had serious conversations about whether or not we should buy the giant tubs of it at the grocery store.
This South American sweet comes in a million different varieties, but traditionally they are made of two cookies filled with dulce de leche (of course). My personal favorite is the chocolate covered oreo alfajores. They can also be made of rice, or filled with jams, chocolate mousse, Nutella, or basically any combination. They’re at every kiosco on every corner, and in every bakery and market. If someone were to ask me what a typical Argentine food is, I wouldn’t hesitate to put this on the list.
Yes, technically helado is just ice cream, but the stuff here is the best in South America. Because of the huge influence from Italian immigrants, most of the ice cream here is gelato-based. It’s super creamy and can be found in a million different flavors. My favorite flavor here is Crema Andina, which is made from berries from the Andes. Of course, dulce de leche flavor is a classic Argentine go-to. There are hundreds of shops all over the city and they tend to be open pretty late. I go to the ice cream shop on the corner by my apartment more than I like to admit to do homework, sit outside, and sometimes drink a coffee.
Speaking of coffee, that’s probably your best bet to wash down all the sweets. Italian influence shows up again here, and the coffee is really amazing. It has helped me not get sick of all the sweets this country has to offer. So I may have come to Argentina hoping to find some spicy food, and while I was a little disappointed in that category, I was amazed at the sweet tooth that the people of this country have.
Teghan Oswald is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently a junior at Central Michigan University.