Saturday, March 08, 2008

Medialunas & Alfahores

Recently, I got an e-mail from someone who wanted more information about the Spanish and Tango program I completed in Buenos Aires. (I had totally forgotten that I had left a review on my school's Web site with my contact information.) Anyway, corresponding with this person brought back a lot of memories from my trip. And since I've had sweet things on the brain for awhile (didn't ya notice?), I particularly remember all the yummy stuff I ate, specifically the medialunas I ate every morning and the alfahores I snacked on whenever I could.

Medialunas (or half moons) are basically little croissants that are either glazed with butter or with sugar. Before Spanish class every day, I went to this little bakery across the street from the school and bought several medialunas and other pastries and then ate them while sipping some yerba mate or tea in class. This little routine is one of the things I am most nostalgic for. However, if I ate like that all the time, it wouldn't be pretty, especially since I certainly wouldn't be walking all over L.A. I guess that is the beauty of walking city vacations: you're basically in a constant cycle of eating and expending calories in equal amounts. I can't wait to have a pasta and gelato orgy the next time I'm in Italy and as mentioned before, pain au chocolat and la creme the first time I'm in Paris.

Alfahores are soft-baked cookie sandwiches that have dulce de leche in the center and are dipped in chocolate or meringue. Very rich and decadent and definitely not going to win you points with your cardiologist. In my opinion, the best brand of alfahores is Havanna. I tried some others both in L.A. and BsAs, and Havannas are still the yummiest. When I was leaving BsAs, I packed my extra suitcase with several boxes of them to give away and almost bought more at the airport. (It's their equivalent of Hawaii's chocolate-covered macadamias.) Anyway, I had trouble finding them in L.A. until a month ago, when I met a native portena at a cupcake meetup who told me about an Argentinian market in Van Nuys that stocks them. I still haven't gone (I'm waiting for Girl Scout cookie season to subside), but I will definitely find my way there.

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