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Argentina Pizza a gastronomic journey through Buenos Aires pizza

Argentina pizza has its own identity and it differs from its italian counterpart while it conquers everybody’s palate. Accompanied by beer or moscato wine and fainá, the argentina pizza is made all over the country in various ways and gourmet flavors.

The Argentina Pizza Gastronomic Route

Among the many gastronomic routes that make up the Argentine territory, one of the most tempting is the one following the endless flavors of pizzas made, for over a century, in different parts of the country and especially in the City of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires Pizza

Buenos Aires Pizza

The Argentina pizza circuit has multiple paths and runs across most of Argentina’s provinces, where all kinds of shops that offer this delicacy were erected in recent years.

However, for the international tourist one of the best ways to discover the ways and flavors of the pizza in Argentina, there is nothing like a gastronomic journey through the neighborhoods of the city to taste the famous Buenos Aires pizza.

It was in Buenos Aires, on the banks of the creek in the neighborhood of La Boca, where a group of Italian immigrants first kneaded pizza on Argentine soil. From Neapolitan roots, Genoese and Sicilian, experts say that over the years Buenos Aires pizza took its own identity and developed its variants to conquer sophisticated palates of all travelers visiting Argentina.

According to recent industry studies, it is estimated that the number of Buenos Aires pizza retail places has reached 650 and may, at any time, exceed the number of steak houses or grills. In fact, the average daily consumption per store is around 60 pizza units, indicating a projected figure of 39,000 pizzas daily and an annual estimate of 14 million pizzas in Buenos Aires alone!

The Origins of the classic Buenos Aires pizza

The earliest references to the traditional pizza date back to the seventeenth centuryin the city of Naples, where it began to be made out of a kind of round cake or bread topped with tomato and, over the years, it also incorporated cheese and some other ingredients and herbs.

In Argentina, it is believed that the first pizzas were prepared by Nicola Vaccarezza in 1882. Nicola was a Neapolitan immigrant who had his bakery in the neighborhood of La Boca. At that time, very low cost and basic ingredients were used to make pizza and therefore it was considered a staple for the lower classes. Ten years later, the Genoese Augustine Banchero creates the very first fugazza, using the traditional dough with onions but then he added cheese to it and it became one of the most traditional flavors of Buenos Aires pizza.

Fugazzeta a classic in Buenos Aires pizza

Fugazzeta a classic in Buenos Aires pizza

However, the proliferation of pizza places did not take place until the early ’30s, when Banchero himself opened his first pizzeria called “Banchero”, currently one of the most traditional and well known Buenos Aires pizza hangouts.

Banchero today in the neighborhood of La Boca

Banchero today in the neighborhood of La Boca

Argentina Pizza Techniques, flavors and styles

In Buenos Aires the pizza circuit allows travelers to taste and enjoy different techniques, doughs and flavors than those used for pizza in other parts of the world.

Some of the distinctive characteristics of the Argentina Pizza are: much lighter dough; different kinds of sauces with a variety of ingredients; and, cheese in abundance. Besides, one of the basic rules for Argentina Pizza is that is presented in a size that permits its division into six or eight portions and share.

One of the more traditional pizzas is made “in a mold”, whose thickness varies between 2 and 2 ½ centimeters (about one inch) as the dough is fairly leavened. Another technique for pizza-making is the “half dough”, whose height barely reaches half a centimeter (0.2 inches), and is very commonly found in bakeries and supermarkets as pre-pizza (pre-cooked dough).

But the favorite Argentine pizza is the “stone-dough pizza” that stands out as the dough is really thin, firm and crunchy. Finally, another Argentina pizza making technique is “grilled”, cooked on the grill with a fairly thin dough.

Stone-style dough pizza another Argentina pizza favorite

Stone-style dough pizza another Argentina pizza favorite

One of the typical Buenos Aires customs, that has even been the subject of books, poems and songs, is eating pizza accompanied by moscato wine – a very sweet and natural wine – and Faina, a pizza dough made out of chickpea flour. This is only available in the traditional bars and pizza places of Buenos Aires, where even the plates are made of metal.

Argentina Pizza - Fainá

Argentina Pizza – Fainá

While in most places the Argentina pizza is served whole with up to two combined flavors, there are still many places in Buenos Aires where it is served “by the slice”.

The cheapest and most common – also a favorite amongst the Buenos Aires pizza – is the “mozzarella” or cheese pizza, with tomato sauce, cheese, green olives and sometimes a little oregano.

Other popular Buenos Aires pizza varieties are: cheese and onion or fugazzeta, especially with ham, cheese, tomato, olives and peppers. The flavors combine gourmet mushrooms, meat, greens of all kinds, various cheeses, black olives, hearts of palm, egg, garlic, sausage, ham and pineapple.

We hope you enjoy your gastronomic journey through the Buenos Aires pizza!

Argentina Pizza

Argentina Pizza

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Places to visit in Argentina – Puerto Madero

There are so many places to visit in Argentina and today we will discover Puerto Madero.

Puerto Madero is a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, whose streets pay homage to outstanding women in Argentina’s history, born out of the recovery of 170 hectares of land via a project that soon became an exclusive residential, gastronomic and business hub of the City and definitely, one of the places to visit in Argentina.

Places to Visit in Argentina - Puerto Madero

Places to Visit in Argentina – Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero and its History:

By the end of the 19th century, the authorities decided to provide the city with adequate port facilities. Eduardo Madero’s proposal, which planned the location of the port in the area surrounding Plaza de Mayo, was passed by the Argentine Congress in 1882. The facilities were eventually inaugurated in 1897. And the red brick warehouses, which have become the landmark of this District, were built.

Puerto Madero Red Brick Buildings

Puerto Madero Red Brick Buildings – Courtesy CVG All rights reserved

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Costanera Avenue, one of the favorite promenades of the city dwellers and a favorite location for many famous steak houses for decades, was opened, together with the Municipal Riverside Resort. But the area was not maintained and had deteriorated and in 1989 the Government decided to rescue the old port area and integrate the city with the Rio de la Plata River. And this is how the neighborhood Puerto Madero was born.

Why is Puerto Madero one of the Places to visit in Argentina?

Besides its fantastic steak houses and worldwide renowned restaurants and night life, Puerto Madero has architectural characteristics that differentiate it from other neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.

On the sides of the water surfaces, a series of lower buildings provide equipment and life to the public walk. It offers parks open to the seafront line, parallel to each one of the docks. An architecturally interesting pedestrian bridge spans the harbor called “El Puente de la Mujer” or the Woman’s Bridge.

 

Puente de la Mujer

The Puente de la Mujer bridge

You cannot miss visiting the BUQUE MUSEO FRAGATA SARMIENTO docked at Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 980 – Dique 3 – Oeste (tel. 4334-9386) http://www.ara.mil.ar/pag.asp?idItem=112 or attend the ROJO TANGO SHOW at Martha Salotti 445 – Faena Hotel + Universe (tel. 5787-1636) info@rojotango.com/ – http://www.rojotango.com/

You will enjoy walking around Puerto Madero’s wide boardwalk both during the day and in the evening. The area is calm, modern and a haven from the busy Buenos Aires’ streets. There is a large choice of restaurants which makes it an easy choice for meals or a “cafecito”.

We highly recommend making Puerto Madero one of your places to visit in Argentina on your next trip!

Puerto Madero Waterfront Art

Puerto Madero Waterfront Art – Courtesy CVG – All rights reserved

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Who are the Gauchos?

Argentinean Gaucho - La Doma

Argentinean Gaucho

Even though it has been used all through the Rio de la Plata region and even in Brazil there is no true knowledge regarding the origins of the word “gaucho.” It is very likely that the word was transformed from a “quechua” (the quechuas were indigenous of the Rio de la Plata region) word: “huachu” – that means orphan and/or vagabond) by the Spanish conquistador who used it to call “guachos” to the orphans and “gauchos” to the vagabonds.

There is also the theory that the “criollos” and the “mestizos” begun to pronounce as “gaucho” the word “chaucho“, introduced by the Spaniards as a modification of the original arabic term chaouch or animal herder.

The name was used to denominate from an ethnic (not racial) standpoint, the people bred from Spaniards or criollos and the offspring of Spaniards with indigenous population or mestizos as well as the children of european immigrants, blacks and mulatos that accepted their standard of living.

The gauchos lived in the plains that extend from the Patagonia up to the oriental confines of Argentina, all the way up to the border with the Estado de Rio Grande do Sur in Brasil where they were called gaúchos.

Who are the gauchos, then?

The evolutionary process of the gaucho and the use of that word was developed without interruption. Different types of gaucho existed in Argentina before 1810, that is before being known by that name. Field laborers existed since the first estancias began to form , even if they were few at first. The third type – which then was called gaucho alzado – existed in small numbers. But they were not the pawns nor the primitive “outlaws” who gave the gaucho characteristics strong enough to draw attention.

Undoubtedly the gaucho type that had really peculiar physiognomy – the first to be named – was the nomadic gaucho, not a criminal, it was implicit in the eastern Gaudério s. XVIII. This gaucho was more than just a bum. Acquired in Argentina, along the s. XIX well-defined traits. And when enough spread – ie, as the population grew rural – was called gaucho, as also had called the eastern countryman s. XVIII.

Skilled horsemen and breeders, they were characterized by their physical prowess, their pride, their reserved and melancholy character traits.

Almost all tasks were performed on horseback, and this animal was always his best mate and all his wealth. The throwing of the lazo, the dressage and the rodeo, the voyages made ​​by these riders, who made of the horse their best instrument. This Criollo (Creole) horse not only helped them fulfill the daily chores but helped them participate in the struggle for independence, immortalizing their name with legions of Guemes centaurs.

The gaucho was the man of our land, main stage of his legendary and real life. Always a solitary life be it in group tents like the nomadic tribes or be it in isolated rancheríos as in southern pampas.

How do Argentineans eat?

Typical breakfast with cafe au lait, toast, butter and dulce de leche

Typical breakfast with cafe au lait, toast, butter and dulce de leche

Discover how Argentineans eat on this delicious article about Argentinean food customs.

Argentinian breakfast is somewhat light compared to what travellers from English-speaking countries are accustomed to. Hotels typically provide a free buffet consisting of coffee, tea, drinkable yogurt, assorted pastries and toast, fruit, and perhaps cereal. These kinds of breakfasts are also readily available in the many cafes.

How Do Argentineans Eat At Lunchtime?

Lunch is a big meal in Argentina, typically taken in the early afternoon. Lunch is so big because dinner is not until late: 8.30PM to 9.00PM at the earliest, more commonly at 9PM or even later. Most restaurants do not serve food until then except for pastries or small ham-and-cheese toasted sandwiches (tostados), for afternoon tea between 6 and 8 PM. Tea is the one meal that is rarely skipped. A few cafes do offer heartier fare all day long, but don’t expect anything more substantial than pizza or a milanesa (breaded meat fillets) or a lomito (steak sandwiches) outside of normal Argentine mealtimes.

Argentina Style Dinner: Typical Meals

Dinner is usually eaten at 10:00 P.M. and typically consists of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Be aware that, similarly to the European “entree”, (entrada) refers to the appetizers. The north american “entree” is refered to as “main dish” or “plato principal”. For appetizers, there are empanadas (meat turnovers or dumplings), chorizo or morcilla (pork or blood sausage), and assortments of achuras (entrails). For an entree there is usually bife de chorizo (T-bone steak) and various types of salads. Then for dessert, there is flan (custard) topped with dulce de leche and whipped cream.

Argentina: Parrillada or barbeque on a grill or parrilla

Argentina: Parrillada or barbeque on a grill or parrilla

Beef is the central component of the Argentine diet, and Argentine beef is world-famous for good reason. Definitely check out Argentine barbecue: asado, sometimes also called parrillada, because it is made on a parrilla, or grill. There is no way around it – foodwise Argentina is virtually synonymous with beef. The beef is some of the best in the world, and there are many different cuts of meat. Lomo (tenderloin) and bife de chorizo are excellent. Having a parrillada dinner is one of the best ways to experience it, preferably with a bottle of wine from Mendoza. In some popular areas, parrilladas are available from small buffets, or sidewalk carts and barbecue trailers. Skewers and steak sandwiches can then be purchased to go.

Fugazzeta a classic in Buenos Aires pizza

Fugazzeta a classic in Buenos Aires pizza

Don’t Forget The Pizza & Pasta

Given that a large portion of Argentines are of Italian, Spanish and French descent, such fare is very widespread and of high quality; pizzerias and specialized restaurants are very common. Take note that a convention observed in Argentina is to treat the pasta and sauce as separate items; some travellers have found out what they thought was cheap pasta only to find that they were not getting any sauce (just pasta with drizzled olive oil). You will see the pastas for one price and then the sauces for an additional charge. This happens more often with side dishes. It is not customary for Argentineans to have the whole dish pre-selected for them. In Argentina, you get to pick exactly what you want your dishes to be served with!

Buenos Aires Pizza

Buenos Aires Pizza

How Do Argentineans Eat: Amazing Desserts

Buenos Aires Bakeries - Desserts

Buenos Aires Bakeries – Desserts

Cafes, bakeries, and ice-cream shops (heladerías) are very popular. Inexpensive and high-quality snacks can be found in most commercial areas, and many have outdoor seating areas. Empanadas (turnovers) containing meats, cheeses, or many other fillings can be bought cheaply from restaurants or lunch counters. The Alfajor is a must try snack of a two cookies with a dulce de leche filling and can be purchased at virtually any local kiosco.

Smoking is now prohibited in most restaurants of Capital Federal and all of Mendoza’s restaurants.

 

Buenos Aires, Panama City and Santiago among men’s favored cities

Buenos Aires - disco and its people

Buenos Aires – disco and its people

The Latin American cities of Buenos Aires (#13), Panama City and Santiago have been included in a global list of 29 cities where men would most like to live, reports Reuters.
The list, assembled by  AskMen.com, put Chicago at the top, helped perhaps by President Obama’s association with that city.
AskMen.com used eight rating categories — livability, sports and entertainment, culture, fashion, sex and dating, health, power and money and the good life — when judging the winners.

Ratings took into account a list of factors including the rate of unemployment, income growth, ratios of single women to men, the cost of a pint of beer and the rate of male heart disease. An initial list of 60 was cut to 29.
AskMen.com’s editor-in-chief James Bassil said the unexpected appearance of cities such as Panama City and Santiago reflected that “the cost of living is low and there is cool development and suddenly they are appropriate places to live in 2009.”

Source: L.A. Times