Part Seven: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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below are thumbnails. Click to see a larger version.
lunch we posed for a photo, then retired indoors and spoke in depth
about Argentine eating habits and some of the most popular foods.
Inevitably we touched on the subject of meat-eating, because Argentina
had a worldwide reputation as one of the largest meat-consuming
nations per-capita in the world. But apparently now there is
a swing towards a healthier diet, particularly amongst the youth,
and big national food magazines are picking up on that trend. So
this is an ideal time to offer Argentines a glimpse of a healthy
asked me if I had tasted one of the nation's sweet passions dulce
de leche. I said that I hadn't, and
everyone laughed. Ramon immediately went to the corner store and
bought back a few containers. "This is what we eat when we
need a quick indulgence of the tongue" said Mathura with a
grin, and everyone laughed even louder. There was a bit of a private
joke going on. Apparently this artfully prepared combination of
just milk and sugar was supremely wonderful, especially with banana.
Suddenly someone was peeling bananas, and before long we had finished
off all the dulce de leche and all the
reminded me of the old days when I used to boil a can of sweetened
condensed milk for hours and hours, then open the can to reveal
the sweet caramel inside. But this was much better! The evening
of pleasant, light conversation continued. Someone offered me some
herbal tea, and as I tasted it, I remembered that this was the same
tea I had been served at the temple the day I arrived.
had a very unusual, strong distinct taste, with a very, very familiar
aroma. It immediately brought me to the same unanswered question
that I had pondered upon smelling its strange, bold spiciness a
week ago. Where had I smelled it before?
Someone explained this was called Boldo
(Pneumus boldo), a very popular and healthy
infusion amongst Argentines, and grown in the Andean forests
of Patagonia. It was so familiar! It wasn't until I returned
to Perth a month later that I realised I had this plant growing
in my garden! A Chilean friend of my mother-in-law had grown it
at her home from seed, and had given us a cutting. My mother-in-law
had told me this was a renowned herb for all stomach and digestion
problems. I planted it in the ground next to our driveway, and it
had now grown into a very large, lush healthy bush. Here is a photo.
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