After a big slab of charcoal grilled bife (beef), our favourite thing to eat in Buenos Aires is empanadas.
Usually baked, but sometimes fried, these delicious pastries are generally filled with meat or cheese and Porteños don’t need much of an excuse to order a box from their local empanaderia. Friends coming over? Picnic in the park? Big football match on TV? Just peckish? All are occasions for locals to go loco over empanadas. Empanaderias even home-delivers!
Porteños all have a favourite empanaderia and a favourite type of empanada – they know just which one they want to grab when the box opens because each type has a slightly different shape.
Our favourites are carne (minced meat), carne picante (spicy minced meat), cebolla y queso (onion and cheese) and jamón y queso (ham and cheese), but these days they also have dozens of other unusual and exotic flavour combinations that are in fashion at the sleek new breed of upmarket empanaderia. Personally, we prefer the traditional, local, simple places.
We’ve tried them everywhere – from the cute little old ladies who hand-make them in front of you at the Feria de Matadores on the weekends, where they go for around US$1 each, and go brilliantly with a cold beer, to eating them as a starter at the upmarket parilla, La Cabrera where they’re nicely matched with a glass of Malbec.
We can confirm that there’s no such thing as a bad empanada!