Today we complete the second part of a generous wedding gift by attending a Culinary Tour in southern Buenos Aires, in a suburb called Adrogué. This is an area that the wealthy residents of BA moved to in the 1900s following an outbreak of Yellow Fever in the city centre.
The weather over night had changed slightly following some light showers and as a result the temperature had dropped to a more manageable 22 degrees and some of the pavements were damp. Not sure if the change in weather was the reason for seeing at least 4 people with wellington boots on during the journey to the train station – if so, not quite sure how they would cope with a typical northern summer.
Adrogué is a about 30 minutes outside main BA by train, so we used the rather ineffective and over crowded metro to get to Constitucion Train Station and boarded the ridiculously good value train system (£0.30 per person each way).
During the journey we were reminded us of a woman in Rio going table to table in restaurants selling T-shirts – in what appears to be an equally odd choice of business model. How many people half way through a meal are going to have a sudden urge to buy a tourist t-shirt? From what we saw, none.
However clearly her business model had potential but just needed some tweaking. Change the location to the train and suddenly you have a viable location for commercial activity within Argentina.
Even so at first glance we were still in doubt about their business acumen as the first gentleman came through with packs of screwdrivers. I didn’t see the need for emergency DIY tools on the 10:30 train from Buenos Aires, however he clearly knows his market and duly sold 3 sets in our carriage alone.
There on in followed a train of individuals with products that ranged from the more obvious – chocolate and cakes (though there were advertised as “cooked by my sister”), the more obscure – plastic credit card holders and an ingenious needle threading device made out of the plastic that cracker manufacturers user, and the downright ridiculous – Boyzone and Westlife DVDs (advertised via the medium of a portable DVD player). Thankfully the Argentinians showed they have taste by leaving the Irish boy band as the only item we didn’t witness making a sale!
The 90 minute journey time quoted in total was a little optimistic and we arrive 10 minutes late for our culinary adventure. Thankfully it is not an issue and there are two other participants who arrive later than us. There are 6 people on the tour – 2 Australian ladies, and American couple from Manhattan (also on their Honeymoon) and ourselves.
In total we were with Terista and her family for the best part of 6 hours (way above the 4 quoted). We had a walking tour of the local area – including a local touring market, the butchers, a deli and a wonderful cake shop. Terista explained as we walked the foods of Argentina – and by the end of the tour we were all very hungry (especially after the cake shop).
Back at her house we were then given aprons and given a glass of Argentinian sparking wine before we commenced the Epanada lesson. This was great fun – and it turns out that Niki is a dab hand at them and clearly top of the class. I had requested paper and pen at the start so as to make notes as I was keen to be able to repeat this process back home….in the end my note simply said “Let Niki make them”.
After we had made the entrees we were allowed to remove the apron and go out into the garden for the rest of the afternoon and were then def a wonderful four course Argentinian meal (including our own Empanadas) complete with local wines for every course. It was a wonderful afternoon and the 6 of us got on really well and chatted and laughed our way through the meal and it was 5:30 before the food, wine and conversation came to an end and we bid our farewells to Terista and her family.
The of us all left and boarded the train together (after a slightly inebriated visit to the cake shop) before saying our goodbyes (though we may see the American couple again as they are staying round the corner and getting the same flight out of BA as us so a shared taxi is an option).
It was a great day and we loved it – but on reflection Terista is onto a good thing. Basically we paid a good price to be walked round the local shops and then fed a home cooked meal – not sure we could get away with the same thing round Leeds markets?
A quick change at the hotel and we head back out to Cafe Tortoni for a Tango Show. About 1hour and 20 minute of highly entertaining and at times sultry Tango followed that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the middle of SCD on the Beeb on Saturday night. There was some singing that we (and by that I mean Niki) understood some of, but overall the music and dancing didn’t need any translation.
Overall a great days entertainment. We are really enjoying our time in Buenos Aires so far.
|The local market|
|Dulce de leche heaven!|
|Quite a character!|
|Amazingly ripe avocados|
|Amazing quince filled pastries – Linda you need to learn to make these please!|
|Measuring the flour for empanadas|
|Wine tasting in the back garden|
|The finished article – delicious!|
|A little bit of practice before the show|