Friday, October 10, 2008

Helado ... the Afternoon Meal

I'm still getting used to the eating schedule here. And I just found out that Argentinians are the only Latin country that doesn't follow the siesta custom. WTF? Anywho, Argentinians eat lunch around 1 and 2 p.m., and then they don't eat again until 10 or 11 p.m. when they head to a restaurant for dinner.

They might get a snack in the afternoon, and I found that the best snack is helado, the Buenos Aires' ice cream that traces its history to the Italian gelato. They're very similar in consistency, with that elasticity that makes it creamy but slick. But Argentinians believe theirs is better.

This afternoon I got my first cup of helado from Freddo, one of the popular helado chains found at the various tourist spots. Freddo's flavors are broken into categories: Crema, Chocolate, Dulce de Leche, fruits and a "light" category. I ended up getting a cup for 12 pesos (about $4.15) with two flavors: Sabayon Italiano and a fruit flavor called Maracuya.

I thought the sabayon would be like the French custard, but it's actually an alcohol-soaked ice cream. That's right, they spike their ice creams! This Italiano version has a rum flavor with raisins and nuts (it's the big scoop on the top). It was a really unique tasting experience, and I may get another one for happy hour!

Under it you see a bit of the maracuya fruit. I didn't know what it was but I thought it sounded mysterious. So being adventurous when traveling, I decided to just risk it. I liked it but couldn't figure out what fruit it was. It seems really close in taste to passion fruit. (Hey, I just checked Wikipedia, and I was correct! It is a kind of passion fruit. I'm good.)

What was that? You want me to test the other heladorias in town to see which is the best? All right, if you insist. ;-)


Passionate Eater said...

You are truly a frozen yogurt + ice cream + gelato fiend! I am glad you have living it up in Argentina, and blogging about it! Yum, liquored up ice cream sounds great right now!

Anonymous said...

Siesta is very common outside of Buenos Aires. It's just the big city that rejects it, in favor of fully participating in the global work day.

Do not skip Volta on your ice cream tour....

Single Guy Ben said...

Ha, it's 3:30 p.m. on Saturday right now and the town seems really quiet. I am soooo ready for a siesta. :) I saw Volta, which looks a bit more fancy than Freddo. So will definitely check it out.

Anonymous said...

What better excuse to travel the globe than to research the ultimate frozen dessert emporia. Go, Ben, go!

Carroll (Grrrrr -- anonymous again, thanks to the vagaries of Blogger!)

Anonymous said...

mmm liquored up gelato sounds like vacation food to me!