We sure love food so were looking forward to learning what an Argentine breakfast would be like. After reading about the generous lunches of pizza and pasta and hearty dinners filled with Argentina parrilla, I thought breakfasts in Argentina would follow suit.
Before we got here, I pictured heaping portions of sausage, eggs, and bread — maybe even some potatoes or ham. There is lots tasty Argentine cuisine for sure. Here’s what we thought of Argentine breakfast.
What’s a typical Argentine breakfast?
Alas, to my disappointment, typical Argentine breakfast foods consist of a cup of coffee with milk (café con leche), a few croissants (medialunas), and a shot glass of carbonated water. Not exactly gut-busting, or even filling.
After two months in Argentina, I’ve gotten used to supplementing my hostel breakfast with fruit or yogurt to satiate my American desire for something more substantial.
It’s not just in cafes where I’ve found the Argentine breakfast a bit lacking. We’ve eaten at enough breakfast-included Argentine accommodations to know it’s universal. In hostels you’re lucky if the pastries or rolls are somewhat fresh, and you’ve really struck the jackpot if there’s cereal and milk, too.
Even in a nice bed and breakfast we were just served fresh rolls, jam, and coffee. It’s completely different from breakfast in Europe or the United States; breakfast just isn’t a big deal here. Maybe it is because dinners in Argentina are eaten so late….
But with only 4 days left in Argentina, we decided to hit a cafe for one more typical Argentine breakfast. We went La Puerto Rico, a famous Buenos Aires cafe that’s been around since 1887 and is just a block away from the president’s offices (Casa Rosada).
The medialunas were amazing — soft and fresh with just a hint of sweetness. The coffee was quite good, too, and the shot glass of water was slightly larger usually. The breakfast ended up costing about $10 US, which is twice as much as it would have been around the corner. But for the quality of the food, it was worth it.
Although it was far from well-rounded, my last Argentine breakfast was satisfyingly delicious.
Thanksgiving in Argentina: Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Ricotta Tartlets
In addition to daily breakfasts in Argentina, something else we were lucky to experience was Thanksgiving in Argentina. As foodies, we love the American holiday that gives you an excuse stuff yourself full of all sorts of delicious foods — Thanksgiving.
Several years ago we spent Thanksgiving in a small town in Egypt where we couldn’t eat many fresh foods because of contaminated water. Therefore, for Thanksgiving we ate fried eggs and rice. It was by far the least authentic (though memorable) Thanksgiving ever.
We are trying to enjoy our Thanksgiving planning when holiday ads abound and kids and adults alike are already thinking up their must haves this holiday season.
This year in Argentina we planned to do it differently. But, we had to move the holiday up a few days to make sure we’d have access to a kitchen so that we could cook our own nearly-authentic Thanksgiving meal.
Two days early, we cooked mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and asparagus. We bought some bread from the local panaderia (bread shop) and Portuguese chicken (couldn’t find turkey anywhere) from the rotiseria (take-away restaurant).
I’m not sure what made it “Portuguese,” but it came with a side of fried potatoes and red peppers. We even had some raspberries from our time volunteering at Chacra Millalen, outside of El Bolson.
It was delicious! And we even had leftovers for Thanksgiving sandwiches. For dessert we had ice cream with mini pies — apple, strawberry, and ricotta — from the confiteria (sweet shop).
For anyone else traveling who is looking to have a taste of home today, try these recipes for mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. They require very few ingredients, making shopping a bit easier.
Traditional Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Potatoes – Russet or Yukon Gold
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and mash with butter, milk, and salt to taste.
For 3 potatoes we used a good bit of butter (maybe 3-4 tablespoons) and about a quarter cup of milk.
Sweet Potatoes with Orange Juice Recipe
- Sweet potatoes or yams
- Brown sugar (white sugar or honey could also work)
- Orange juice (we used juice fresh from an orange)
Bake sweet potatoes in oven until very tender. Remove from oven, peel, and mash with butter, sugar, and orange juice to taste.
For 2 large sweet potatoes we used 3-4 tablespoons of butter, 1-2 tablespoons of “black sugar” (which happens to be just white sugar with coloring, but we didn’t know this until after we came home from the market), and juice from 1 orange.
You will be sure to enjoy trying new foods while traveling in Argentina. From Buenos Aires to Bariloche to Peninsula Valdes and beyond, we enjoyed the traditional, typical Argentine breakfast as well as making most of our own Thanksgiving mini-feast.
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