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Where's Jonny? Care to dine with me? You would think that 11 years of daily food tasting for a living might put me off?......au contraire! Chomp away with me across 6 continents. Seduced like a bloodhound to the scent of good food, I anticipate the misty waft of steaming broths, the satisfying crunch of mudbugs and the vibrant aroma of freshly pulverised lemongrass. Buon appetito

Heads of animals to Heads of State

ARGENTINA | Thursday, 23 August 2007 | Views [987]

Doctors recommend a light walk after a plane journey and there^s nothing more poigniant than a saunter round a graveyard after a flight that nearly put you in one.

Not just any graveyard.  The cemetario in the bohemian district of Recolleta, Buenos Aires, contains the body of Eva Peron amongst other rich and famous dignitaries including past presidents.

The angled sun shone upon the stone hamlet of high rise tombs as we walked its long passageways.  Well kept and ordered, each grave had its own personality.  Life-sized angels observed our movements from above as ferral cats peered round corners or lazily curled on the sunniest graves.

Having had enough reflections on our own mortality, we trotted off past a Tango dancing man with brimmed hat, before the souls of the dead emerged.

Cafe culture is MASSIVE in Buenos Aires. Empanadas (similar to pasties) and tostados feature heavily on any cafe menu.  Having scoffed enough jamon e queso tostados (ham and cheese toasties) to sink a battleship (no pun intended) we decided it was time to eat the National dish.

Parilla prounounced pareesha is all about barbecued meats, particularly beef.  In the restaurant window we watched white hot embers cooking whole splayed animals on stakes.  There was suckling pig, pork ribs, goats and various cuts of beef.  DO NOT ENTER IF VEGETARIAN! it might have said on the door.

The restaurant we visited was grand in an elogant, old school charm kind of way and wore all types of stuffed animal heads from its high walls.

The all-Spanish was confusing at times although the crusty head waiter was as helpful as possible.

We pointed at a mixed dish for 2 personas and ordered some (ideally symbiotic) Malbec wine.

I recognised chorizo and morcilla (the latter being a blood sausage)but just couldnt work out the rest.  He explained that the other items were all innards of the animal! Not for the faint hearted then.   I was up for trying intestine, liver, kidney etc but Maria was preferring the idea of a more conventional cut. Fair enough, easy at first. 

Traditionally, Argentinians start with the offal and then move to the muscle tissues but when you see the size of the portions, you might skip the first part anyway.  The steaks are immense.

Marias was cooked medium rare and was tender, succulent though a touch underseasoned.  My suckling pig came on my own little BBQ which kept one portion sizzling whilst I tackled the first.  It was light, tender, flavoursome and lots of it.

Finishing with anis dulce it was a lip smacking introduction to this most masculine of cuisines.

I fancy the goat next time and Maria said she would consider trying a kidney or two....on one condition.......

that I learn Tango!  Report to follow....



Tags: Food & eating

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