As my time here is drawing to a close, I'm getting a little emotional about all the amazing things I'll have to live without until Buenos Aires and I are reunited once again in the future.
Mate is not on this list because I will still drink it when I get home (but who knows what brands of yerba they'll sell in the States =/). What I will miss are the delicious cookies/galletitas that I eat while I drink mate. Mate has a pretty strong flavor, so the perfect balance to a steamy, amargo (bitter, or non-sweet) mate are yummy little cookies. Argentines love their cookies --there's a good majority of one aisle at the supermercado dedicated to just cookies-- but the ones I love the most are Tortitas (Black or Super Chocolate), which are similar to the cookie part of an Oreo, but with a little groove scraped out on one side to hold a delightful puddle of chocolate or whatever you would call the cream-filling of an Oreo. Cookies come in rolls of about 18-20 cookies, and I'm pretty doubtful that any roll of Tortitas has ever lasted me (or any person?) more than two sessions of cookie-eating/mate-drinking. The fact that they cost $2,85 pesos (that's less than 75 American cents) makes them that much more irresistible!
Tortitas are my favorite, but I'm pretty sure I haven't met a galletita here that I didn't like.
When people rave about the Argentine meat, they're telling the truth. So much so, that even the street food is delicious. Choripan (chorizo+pan = sausage+bread) is offered in restaurants, but is in my opinion the best when it comes from dives or street carts. I don't need anything fancy, just the choripan and some chimichurri (yummy sauce), a little mostaza and maybe a few papas if I'm feeling especially ravenous. Needless to say, the chorizo is my favorite part of any asado. I don't know what kind of meat fills these sausages (I probably don't want to know, let's face it.. it's sausage) but it is TASTY.
Continuing on my love for Argentine sausage...
If anyone knows me, they know my favorite food group is the hotdog family; so when I came here, I obviously had to try the Argentine version: the superpancho. I wouldn't say the actual hotdog of a superpancho is anything amazing (it's got nothing on Carney's); what makes a superpancho great (or at least the superpancho my friends and I discovered) is the sauces and papas that you add to it. The place my friends and I frequent on our "Superpancho Tuesdays" (<--self-explanatory) has a deal where you get a 7 peso superpancho (less than 2 USD!) and your choice of any 2 (out of like 30) sauces, topped off with crispy little papas. My friends and I are pretty sure we could be billionaires if we made this available in college towns across the United States.
Argentina seems to be the only place that really appreciates how good grapefruit is. As someone who has always held that pink grapefruit Jelly Belly jellybeans are way better than watermelon, toasted marshmallow and all the other flavors, I'm in love with the fact that pomelo (grapefruit) is a popular beverage flavor here. Con gas (carbonated) or sin gas (flat), the pomelo juice drinks here are refreshing and delicious. And Argentines know this, which is why the option of a 1.5L bottle is the standard size found in kioskos and supermercados. Because the BsAs tap water here is completely fine to drink, I refuse to spend money on bottled water; I am only ever willing to pay for pomelo (or beer).
The best thing to have for breakfast or during your coffee break (or any time of the day, really) are yummy little medialunas. They are similar to croissants, but are smaller and sweeter. They also might be the cheapest thing you can buy here.
...They're delicous, that is all.
There are many different kinds of alfajores, but if I had to describe them in a simple fashion, I'd say they are super cookies. That, and they're basically a vehicle for dulce de leche. They can either be two soft butter cookies sandwiched around dulce de leche, or they could be 2-3 layers of biscuity cookies (or soft cakey layers) sandwiched among dulce de leche or chocolate and then dunked in a coating of chocolate. You can get them at a coffee shop/restaurant or you can pick up an individually wrapped one at the nearest kiosko. To be clear, I like ALL alfajores; but I've definitely consumed more of the kind that is pictured in this adjoining photo. Also, buying alfajores from the kioskos is a great way of getting monedas (change) for the colectivos (buses), so it's really a win-win situation. There is also no unacceptable time of the day to eat an alfajor, which is great! Unless you're being fed them for breakfast at 8am on a Tuesday... then it's a little much.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the nightlife here is ridiculous. I'm trying to have as much fun as possible here to hopefully get it out of my system before I return to the United States of America where bars/clubs close at 2am (4 if you're lucky), the drinking age is 21, and having fun is confined to fridays and saturdays. But it's not all about getting crazy here. It's just nice knowing that you can basically enjoy any and all hours of the day, whether the sun is shining or not. You can sleep when you're dead, or when you're back in the States, or until 4pm the next day after coming home at 6am; whichever you choose, Buenos Aires is a place to have fun, live life, and enjoy the company of your friends and even some random strangers who might become your friends.