Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bizarre Foods With Me: Argentina

This is not relevant, but just a cool pic the wife took of light shining through stained glass of a mausoleum in the La Recoleta Cemetary.

In fact, I didn't have anything too bizarre in Argentina, but I liked the theme and decided to run with it.  In fact, perhaps the most bizarre thing I had was sweetbreads, which are not all that crazy sine I have them often here in NY.  Here is a mixed grill of somewhat uncommon items, morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo, sweetbreads,  intestine sausage:

The wife goal was to go on, as she put it, an "empanada tour", much like we went no a "croquette tour" when we visited spain.  Two of the stronger contenders we had at a lunch break at a winery while touring bodegas in Mendoza, one corn and cheese and one beef:

I started with the Chorizo Burger at the same winery:

Later that night we sampled even more empanadas:

But perhaps my favorite were the trio we had at Azafran in Mendoza at a leisurely lunch. Molleja y champignon (Sweetbread and Mushroom), Chorizo con cebolla (Sausage and onion), and Morcilla y parmesano (Blood Sausage and Parmesan).  I had a lovely wine pairing with the trio as well:

Probably my favorite sweetbreads I had for the main course at the same lunch, these with peach chutney and torrontés wine reduction were delicious:

But the fact is that as much as I love sweetbreads, I like the ones I often get in NY more than those I got in Argentina.  The ones I had on this trip are very minerally and gamey,  and while those terms usually describe good things, they are often taken to too high a degree for my tastes in Argentina.  I'm not sure what the cause is, perhaps preparation, but I suspect it is because the offal comes from mature cattle as opposed to veal or lamb that we often get in the US.  I know the sweetbreads of lamb I have made twice were quite delicious and mild in flavor.  I suppose that, even for the "off cuts", if people start actually eating them commonly as they do in Argentina it's harder to get the choice pieces than it might be here.

Here's another random shot I enjoy:

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