When do people in Argentina have breakfast

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When it comes to eating in Argentina, our experience is a bit divided: On the one hand, the country really offers a wealth of delicacies, homemade treasures made from pure ingredients, good meat, lots of sweet things and also exotic things. The food from Argentina is generally varied and of very high quality.

On the other hand, as a traveler, especially if you are traveling in the south of Patagonia, you first have to get your hands on the delicious products. Because not every restaurant and every accommodation offers what the kitchen and wine cellar could offer and often you have no choice, because there are hardly any alternatives in the wide area.

Big cities, especially Buenos Aires, however, are a El Dorado for indulgent eaters. Here everyone can find food and ingredients from all over the country and from overseas. From the Antarctic king crab from Tierra del Fuego to spicy dumplings Salta. Cheese and other dairy products from the country are also of high quality.

Of course, the numerous immigrants over the years also had an influence on Argentine cuisine. Especially the Italians, because they brought the pasta. Almost everywhere you can find delicious pasta dishes on the menus, often even from our own production and accordingly delicious. From Italian gnocchi will be here Ñoquis.

Pizza is also a very filling dish and is thickly topped with Argentine cheese, which is quite general Muzarella means what is not necessarily mozzarella. This amount of cheese is so much and so filling that you can hardly make a whole pizza even if you are very hungry. Most of the time it also has a fairly thick bottom and is often filled with palm hearts (palmitos) and boiled egg toppings. After three attempts up to half the portion and a stuffed stomach, I gave up ever making a whole pizza in Argentina. Michael also failed because of it.

They are also very popular across the country Empanadas, delicious semicircular dumplings with a spicy filling. They can be enjoyed hot with a good glass of wine or as an appetizer Asado or simply as a small snack on the go.

Meal times

As travelers in Argentina, we mainly had a problem with meal times. We are actually more used to having a relatively generous breakfast in the morning when we are on vacation. This is very important, especially on a round trip in a rental car, because then you are hardly hungry at lunchtime when you are on the road and are satisfied with a little something. In the evening, after reaching the destination, a sumptuous evening meal is on the program around 7 p.m.

Depending on the destination and type of travel, this can be a 3-course menu in a restaurant or a home-cooked meal in the camper. Since you haven't eaten much all day long, you are understandably hungry in the evening and you eat relatively early if possible. Unfortunately, this is not common in Argentina.

This shows the cultural influence of the long Spanish colonial period: Those who were of high class or who are self-respecting follow the meal times of the Spanish court. There, the hot climate of central Spain forced life into the cooler evening hours. There was a siesta at noon. These customs no longer make sense in Patagonia, but they are established. Especially in restaurants you get something to eat very late.

The deviations from this were also a reflection of this cultural imprint: simple people who have to work after the daily routine such as farmers or fishermen, in small towns like us, they came to the restaurant relatively early. Or there is a gas station too Minutas as advertised on the board above: That is not necessarily Fast foodbut dishes that can be pre-cooked and kept warm for a long time - savory home-made food.

Breakfast and lunch

In our experience, an Argentine breakfast is generally rather poor to continental European: coffee or tea, with toast or, more rarely, rolls, cakes or Medialunas (Half moons = croissants).

Sometimes the toast was just a sliced, toasted bun. There is also jam or now and then Dulce de Leche. Very rarely the cases in which we already got a little thinly sliced ​​cheese or ham for breakfast. Fruit, cereals and fresh juice were even rarer.

Above you can see the most sumptuous breakfast buffet that we have at this time outside of Buenos Aires got. At the bottom of the picture you can see the absolute negative example of a lovingly set breakfast table during our 4-week stay.

And at noon?

According to travel guides, Argentines have lunch between 12 noon and 3 pm during siesta time. But this is more likely to be a supplemented breakfast or a small main course. A coffee afterwards is a must. As a traveler in Patagonia, even with a car, you have a problem right after breakfast. It doesn't last long and so you are usually hungry long before noon. The wind and the fresh air do the rest.

But there is no shop or restaurant far and wide. Or there is only one lonely restaurant, like on Perito Moreno Glacier, in which loud busloads of tourists cavort in hordes.

So you buy things in the supermarket or at a gas station that last: biscuits, chips, muesli bars, yoghurt and every now and then you can get ready-made white bread from the refrigerated counter. Always with cheese, ham or Milanese, with a breaded veal schnitzel on it. The breading is often quite greasy. Small homemade salads, which you can get in some places in the supermarket, are also very recommendable: pickled chicken, lamb or squid are tasty, filling and refreshing. So when you get hungry, you nibble here and there all day.

In the evening

Dinner is the main meal of the day. 3 courses are normal, e.g. B. with a lot of meat from the grill. In addition, one preferably drinks wine, Argentina is after Italy, France and Spain the fourth largest wine producer in the world and offers some good wines.

However, the restaurants do not open until 8 p.m., and if you are already hungry at the door, you will find yourself alone with bored waiters in the restaurant. Argentinians don't come until 9 p.m., in tourist areas you can be lucky and have company to eat at 8 p.m.

In cities, most of the guests didn't come until we had finished eating. The restaurants fill up between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., on weekends in Buenos Aires most of them didn't even arrive until after 11 p.m. ...

It was very difficult for us to eat so late. Those who have been starving all day and have only eaten little things now often have to wait in the evening after arriving at their accommodation before they can go to the restaurant. There you fill your stomach hungry and then go to bed to digest. Not a very healthy lifestyle, we gained 3 pounds each ...

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