A Whole New Palate

Jack Fuller
Majors: Accountancy and Spanish
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Spring 2017

The sheer amount of food recieved at a parrilla is astounding

The food in Argentina has been a much larger change than I originally suspected it would be, but not in a bad way.  I had not really understood how much of an influence Europe had on the city of Buenos Aires, especially on their food.  They eat a lot of the same things as we would in the United States, with an emphasis on pizza and a type of barbecue called “parrillas”, which seem very similar to grills.  The food here is also much more expensive at restaurants unless you are careful in handpicking the correct location.

The pizza in Buenos Aires is much different than the pizza that I was used to.  They use much more cheese, and I have not found real pepperoni yet.  Furthermore, if ham, a common topping here, is placed on the pizza they will completely cover the pizza in it.  In contrast, if you order olives, you receive on whole olive on each individual slice.  While at first off putting, it actually is quite a delicious way to eat pizza, and also simplifies it for those who do not like olives and want to pick them off.  A full pizza can be quite expensive, but some places will sell it by the slice, which is normally quite cheap.  A full pizza though can safely feed around 4 people comfortably, as it is very filling.

A parrilla has some of the best meat that I have tasted in a long time.  The citizens of Buenos Aires are quite proud of this fact too, as any conversation with a taxi driver that happens to stray towards food will tell you.  The parrilla that we have frequented is named “Cumana”, and Cumana will serves their meat on wooden plates that seems like cutting boards.  Often times the food is meant for two, so it is quite economical to go with a group and just share the meal.  However, one thing that was unexpected about parrillas was that they do not serve any type of sauce with their meats.  It seems very classic, as if you want ketchup or mustard you have to use the packets that you would normally find at fast food restaurant.  I believe it just is not as common here to use ketchup with so many different things.

The food is delicious and I am enjoying all of the different types of foods that I have gotten the chance to try here.  Even the meals with my host mom have been a delightful adventure each night.  I have tried all types of things that just are not as common place in my upbringing, such as liver, kidney, and a mountain of eggplant.  Some foods have been better than others, but I relish the chance to try all that I have been provided.

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