I may be in Argentina, but I keep thinking of Italy. Why? There is something very Italiano about Buenos Aires. Argentina most certainly has a strong national identity all its own, but let us not forget that the Italian population in Argentina is only second to Italy itself. Nearly two out of three Argentinians are of Italian descent.
What does this mean for me and my time in Buenos Aires (self-centered soul that I am)?
It means that I have the opportunity to indulge in helado (aka gelato) on pretty much every block of the city. Heck, they even deliver the stuff here until 2am! Eating pizza here is a national pastime, although I admittedly prefer its brethren in Nuevo York. Italian digestif amaro like Fernet Branca and Cynar are top shelf on every bar. In fact, the former is so popular that Argentina lays claim to the only Fernet Branca distillery outside of Italy.
And, most importantly, they cook up some mean pasta and risotto in this city. Hitting Buenos Aires hot spot Crizia, I ooh-ed and aah-ed over luscious pappardelle with fresh scallops still nestled in their shells, bathed in a cream sauce with a splash of truffle oil. And, I had my eyes roll back into my head with pleasure as I tasted the gorgeous Risotto Milanese at Palermo Chica's La Locanda, arborio rice bright gold with saffron, topped with stewed veal shank in the style of Osso Bucco (see above).
So, in other words: Here in Buenos Aires, I am living la vida dolce!