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From The Past: Modern Argentina, the El Dorado of to-day

(After snagging an edition of “Carpenter’s World Travels: The Tail of the Hemisphere – Chile & Argentina” by Frank G. Carpenter (You can view a photo from it here), I’ve developed an interest in how Argentina was viewed, in the days of old, by travelers, journalists, and writers. Particularly on the subject of asado and beef–food in general too. When the New York Times unleashed some of its archives for free a while ago, I was hoping to jump on top of that and post some old school nuggets of information. Unfortunately, most of what I am seeking …

Asadores (Those Roasting Crosses) Measurements

A few inquiries have landed landed in the inbox recently about specs or where to buy those crosses(asadores) that one can can use to roast a whole lamb, suckling pig, or ribs. I’ll cover the topic of cooking with one in detail at some point, but for now, here is a little info for those interested.

Here’s a site that sells them in Argentina but I don’t know if they’ll take international orders. They have some photos of the different types–too small for great detail–and height/width measurements.

You can see more photos and measurements on auction sites such as Deremate

Empanadas Arabes

Empanadas Arabes Arab empanadas, also known as fatay in Argentina. (Origins? Yes I know about sambusac) These flavorful treats hardly resemble their more famous half-moon shaped cousins, nor do they receive even a fraction of exposure. Quite a few pizza joints in Tierra Del Fuego bake them up but one place in particular, Expo Pizza in Rio Grande, does them really well (pictured).

Sesame Chicken & Watermelon

Chicken & Watermelon This was pulled from a free Costco recipe book I picked up in the States a couple months back. Not a bad looking book I must say. A mixture of twists on simple classics from around the world to fare that one might find in many of today’s bestselling cookbooks of U.S. celebrity chefs.

Asadito In Chile

Ernesto, a reader here from Chile, has kindly passed along a few photos to share from a couple little asados he threw down last December.

Chile asado

That juicy chunk of meat is from a cut called lomo vetado and, according to Ernesto, is one of the top preferred cuts in Chile. In Argentina it is known as ojo de bife from the bife ancho cut.

Going clockwise from the meat, those tasty sides are: a thick, creamy sauce with mushrooms, onion and garlic; beetroot and soft cheese salad; oven-baked diced potatoes with herbs

You just want to grab …

Penguinland and another little roundup

There I was, this past Sunday, in the process of laying out about 5kg of meat when, POW (plus a few clinks), the rack started to list at 30 degrees to port. A bolt that clamped a chain/clamp assembly to the winch appeared loose. After frantic attempts to tighten the bolt, while preventing my arm from becoming brazo a la parrilla, it was determined that the grooves in the clamp stressed out a bit. Heat does that to you. “Let’s try this,” one suggested, and a minute later, after hammering a screw in between the clamp and winch shaft (hammers …

Elusive Street Food

When one mentions street food, my mind immediately conjures up an overload of mouth watering images. Street vendors in China tossing noodles up and around in a flame spewing wok. Fresh fish tacos at a beach in Cabo. Lassi ladled into cups in India. I have never been to two of those locations, mind you, but I’ve seen enough blogs, books, and travel shows to at least live the experience virtually. Though, the real deal would be so much better.

In Argentina, from various fairs to main avenues to sidewalks along the Rio De La Plata, I’ve seen and sampled some …

Asado In The Campo

Check out this post with spectacular photos of a good ‘ol family asado in the campo. Nothing better than reading about someone’s meat overload while visiting Argentina. I mean true asado-style, not restaurant-style.

This photo, that I love dearly, speaks more than a thousand words. Although he might have been thinking of something else, I often have that expression upon wondering if I turned the meat at the right time or “this smell is killing me, when will it be ready!!???”

Sal – Salt

In Argentina, refined rock salt is available in three different sizes: sal fina(fine salt), sal entrefina(semi-fine/half-refined salt), or sal gruesa(coarse salt). Kosher and harvested sea salt, in case you were wondering, are moving along at a snail’s pace in terms of rising popularity and use.

Discover Argentina At An Omni Hotel

I was tipped off to some interesting options that are currently available at select Omni hotels in the U.S. Headlined as “Sumptuous Flavors of Argentina“, this Argentinean-designated experience allows diners and guests a chance to indulge themselves into a mixture of both traditional and modern cuisine. If you want more than a meal, you can book the Discover Argentina Package that includes accommodations, a sampling of wine & cheese, culinary class, dinner, tango cd, and a few other perks.

In September of 2007, Omni sent around 40 chefs and professionals down to Buenos Aires and Mendoza to …