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  • Palm Sunday and Semana Santa in Cusco

    It was a nice sunny day today. I woke up to the sound of the church bells ringing in the distance. As it was Palm Sunday, there was a procession around the main square (Plaza de Armas). A brass band was playing and there were lots of people about. All were coming from or going to mass, holding their palm crosses.
    The tradition is here for the families to place the cross (made from palm, leaves and even rosemary) outside their front doors. I decided to buy one and was able to get one for 1 sol from an old lady who was selling them on the side of the street.


    Its not unusual to see these ladies selling their bits and pieces here in Cusco. Everything from food, jewelry and even hand-woven belts, scarves and hats (some made of Alpaca) are delicately laid out on blankets for all to come and have a look at on the side of the streets. (más…)

    1. How did something frozen end up in steamy Buenos Aires?

    carneIt is a very poorly kept secret that the beef in Argentina is second to none: this is a tidbit well known to the natives though, as your average argentine will consume a world-leading 62 kilos (140 lbs!) of meat each year. The question you will be asking yourself, however, after your innards have been assaulted by their first encounter with La Pampa prime beef is: what sweet could possibly make this experience any more divine? My first week was a blur of asados (barbecues), but I do nonetheless remember my initiation; I remember endless meat, unctuous Mendoza malbecs, home style sausages– but I also remember my shock upon seeing the decadent spread’s conspicuous absence of dessert. In fact the Argentine after-meal ritual involves less the confectioner’s oven and more the telephone: the main purpose of which is to call for a delivery of ice cream. If the word “ice cream” brings to mind visions of Baskin Robbins or Friendly’s you will not understand why those recently satiated with such sublime beef decide to take recourse in dessert from a third party, but once you have had the smallest lick, it will all become clear: Buenos Aires boasts, in this writer’s humble opinion, the world’s best ice cream.

    In my previous travels I would have given that epicurean laurel to Italy, more particularly to the gelati of Italy’s breadbasket, Milan. The strength that the Italians have always had is a thriving tradition of ice cream makers with recipes that descend back generations. Yet the tide of immigration that flooded the shores of America both North and South in the beginning of the 20th Century brought not only Italian workers, but recipe-toting ice cream makers as well. And when they arrived in the Río de la Plata they found something fortuitous for those of us addicted to frozen sweets: the cows of the extensive Argentine Pampa produce a milk particularly suited to Italian gelato. The result: top end ice cream with the bright flavours of Italian gelato and the richness of american ice cream.

    (más…)

  • Comentarios desactivados en Argentina: Come for the Beef, Stay for the Helado
  • Filed under: Argentine Culture, Curiosities on Latin American