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Entries in Argentina (3)


Dad's Empanadas

The best thing about making Dad’s Mexican mince is leftovers. Leftovers = empanadas.

These aren’t really traditional Argentine empanadas – the ‘Mexican’ is clue there – but I grew up with them, so they are my fave.

I ate my body weight in empanadas twice over when I visited Argentina in 2009. Empanadas vary hugely from region to region. The best I found were in Cordoba, where they were beefy, salty, juicy and fried. Further North they start adding more sugar or fruits, like raisins, which I am not a big fan of in savoury foods.

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The Quebradas

One of the most beautiful landscapes I was fortunate enough to see in Argentina was the Quebrada de Cafayate. Quebrada in Spanish literally means ‘broken’ and refers in geological terms to a deep valley or ravine. Despite having lived in Australia for most of my life, I have sadly never been to the ‘Red Centre’ but I reckon the vivid colours of this part of Northern Argentina would give it a run for its money.  

The main attractions in the valley lie along the Route 68 that runs from Salta to Cafayate. As such most things can be viewed comfortably from a tour bus window with little pit stops along the way. This is how I chose to do it because I was lacking on time and I felt I saw everything I wanted to, but it was a little rushed. It would have been nicer to do it at my own pace in a car and at a different time of day, for example early evening, when the lighting is supposed to be at its best and there are less tourists on the road.

So what has this got to do with food? Not a lot really. Of course I did eat along the way, and a couple of things are worth noting, which I will do in due course. But mainly this is an excuse to share the spectacular photos of the valley itself:

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Back to Argentina

It feels like so long ago that I was getting my teeth stuck into the most succulent and tender of steaks, drinking fine malbecs and spreading my legs for the juiciest empanadas I could find. But the memories are still fresh in my mind and I promised when I crossed to Bolivia that I would get back to Argentina, not physically, but on this here blog to let you know all about the rest of my foodie experiences there.

Where better to start than with a quintessentially Argentinean experience. On an estancia in the countryside just outside of Salta, I spent a morning horseriding through patchwork fields of brown and green, parched rocky river beds and eucalypus groves with the Andes as a backdrop and gauchos as my guides. This was followed by a traditional asado prepared by master of the house, the exuberant Enrique.

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