This leg of my journey has come to an end and if you are looking to learn more about Asado, the Argentine culture, or my journey please take a look at Asado: A Journey Through Argentine Cuisine. This book is the culmination of all my experiences, writings, recipes, learnings while exploring Argentina and I am both very excited and proud to share it with our readers.
Words to know:
Ferias – fairs (or festivals) across the city where one can find a mix of antiques, souvenirs, household goods, and food
Carritos de Choripan – food carts that sell a variety of sandwhiches (most common are Choripan, Hamburguesa, & Bondiola)
Sundays in Buenos Aires are a time for friends and family. Shops are closed. Streets clear, except for the tourist groups, until later into the day. Families relax at home, gallivant about at Ferias across the city (the popular clique being San Telmo and Recoletta), or host Asados of their own at home or in parks. At this time, I am still on the prowl to convince a temporary family to adopt me and invite me to a home-y Asado, but in the meantime I looked to adopt a tradition of my own: #StreetMeatSundays.
This tradition was born from my love of meat and shall be forever ingrained into my lifestyle. I headed to Costanero—a local area in Porto Madryn (think trendy harbour) where Carritos de Choripan line the street along side the Eco Reserve—to shove as much food down my throat.
chori(zo) + pan = choripan
Choripan is hot diggity, on fleek, big kahuna of all the street foods here. Take a chorizo, that’s been slow roasting on the parilla. Butterfly the piece you are about to eat to get a nice crisp outer layer and slide that succulent between two buns that have been grilled along side. Optional step, remove a bit of the inner bread so that you can load up on some chimichurri and fresh salad salsa or salad criolla. Eat. Fall in love. Allow the grease to dribble down your chin and your hands. Imagine yourself in a bathtub of choripan. True Story.
Choripan is commonly part of the first round of food during an Asado as well. I will be sure to cover chorizo in depth by itself.
Mid Morning Snack: Provolenta
At this point, I was already starting the feel bad about myself. After eating the choripan, I took a walk through the eco-reserve to get some un-urban air. I passed by many locals jogging and being all fit; I on the other hand was planning the rest of the conquests for the day: Provolenta.
After eating my first provolenta, I decided to start an advocacy group to ensure that all “grilled cheese”-esque sandwiches should from now an be prepared by grilling the cheese in this exact fashion.
Sides and Condiments
There are some of those babies that I would def take home and make love to.
And you can also get sides in a fresher version, the most popular being Chimichurri and Salad Criolla.
Provelenta put me into a bit of a food comma and unfortunately, my walk took too long and I had to head back to the hostel for my shift. But don’t worry, #StreetMeatSundays will continue.
Bondiola is probably the second most popular Street Meat, and one of rarer chances for pork to shine in an otherwise beef dominated scene. Bondiola is roughly the shoulder of a pig.
Day 3: Back to Costanero
This is how the Argentines approach the Hamburger. Not too much different but so tasty, especially when my last hamburger was of the McDonalds variety. The differences from the topping options makes it a whole new experience.
Order it “Completa” to get egg, queso, and ham on that bad boy.
Day 4: Return of the Street Meat Sunday
It’s time to wrap up the street meat today with one last Hoorah. Churrasquitos is only slightly harder to find on Costanera, but definitely a work it option. There is no direct cut translation, but think of this cut as a flank cut with flavor and fat.
Unfortunately, I forgot to get photographic evidence about this item—but that’s how missable it is. Don’t waste your time with this sub-par hot dog-esque thing that is available everywhere. Go eat another choripan instead!
Other than the items we covered above, you will see other options at the street cart, but these are most likely just different cuts of meat prepared in the same fashion as the Bondiola or Choripan. What I was expecting, but have yet to find, was some meat on a stick at these carts, but I guess low-carb has yet to hit here.
Garron // Roasted Peanuts
Porchoclo // Popcorn – not too frequently seen, mainly at ferias
BonBon // Ice Cream – there will commonly be a man riding a biking or walking around offering ice cream
(Churrasquitos (bottom), Bondiola (top-left), and Hamburguesa (top-right) in action)