FrancesRenHuang

Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Hot Sauce

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm

La Boca Roja

Hot sauce is a necessity; a kitchen commodity; the key component to complete a delicious dish. In my case, I put it on everything; you name it I splash it on: bacon, french fries, milanesa, chicken wings, hamburgers, pizza etc. Since arriving in BA, the nonexistence of spicy cuisine leaves me no choice but to obsessively search high and low for sweat-induced food/ingredients. Well, up until I landed on Ya Ya Bean’s hot sauce and fell in love; I loved it so much that I’m contemplating about being their next door neighbor.

Just a dab on the tongue has me blasting to another planet. It’s HOT. Though what makes it perfect is the right amount of salt and the playful flavors of cumin, onion and garlic.  A well made bottle. Not to say, it’s very affordable with a generous pour: 20 pesos ($5) for the small one and 50 pesos ($12.50) for their big one. Oh, and they deliver to your door.

Ya Ya Bean’s La Boca Roja

Ya Ya Bean is formed by two best friends from DC, who worked on an organic farm in Patagonia, and musicians by trade. To know more about them, they can be seen on youtube, documenting their journey making and selling it to customers in San Telmo fair.

http://www.yayabeans.com/

Location: Every Sunday at San Telmo Fair, on Defensa near Alsina.

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Organic Find

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on April 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Tren de la Costa

Pastries

Meat and Cheese

Veggies

Organic is not seen everywhere, it might be of inconvenience, but definitely possible to find. I like this helpful post by GoodmorningBA listing organic fairs, delivery options and shops all around town- the inspiration for me to check out San Fernando Organic Market.

This market is right at the San Fernando station on the Tren de La Costa line: easy and such a comfortable scenic train ride. This market opens at 10am~5pm; by 12 the station trickled with people, filling in their bags with fresh goods. One side of the station sells baked goods, honey and jam, cheese, cold cuts, eggs and chicken; the other side has veggies, herbs, plants and eco-friendly bags. My heart skips a beat to see fresh beautiful veggies exist in Buenos Aires, and affordable: 4 pesos ($1) for an abundant bunch of spinach. Even though the baked goods still have some years to catch on to the North American’s drooling standards, I’ll definitely come back for their baby carrots, herbs, and organic eggs.

Seducing with Chocolate

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on March 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Beautiful Wrapping

Heart

Hot Chocolate

Chocolate plays a big role in this city: crunchy goodness sold in the supermarket, displays of chocolate molds in the centre’s traditional chocolate stores, and dessert of all things chocolate in bakeries and restaurants. And even after all that chocolate, there are these beautiful handfuls of artisanal chocolate boutique shops. This is one of the very few in BA.

This beautiful store visually swipes me off my feet and enticed my sweet tooth; how ignorant I was, thinking chocolate was just chocolate. The store itself is beautiful, and the display of chocolates are Mmm sexy; their chocolate ginger truffle was divine. Expensive? Very. 5 pesos ($1.25) for a truffle, and 20 pesos ($4.25) for a small bar of dark almond chocolate. For Argentine chocolate, this store did a great job.

Vasalissa Chocolatier

http://www.vasalissa.com/

Alvear 402, Martínez (they have stores around the city)

Bleaty Goodness

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on February 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

 

My love- soft goat cheese

 

I love soft goat cheese, melting it into pasta, incorporating it in an omelette, or just spreading it on crackers- MmM soft, creamy, and flavorful. It’s not easy to find soft goat cheese, unless I surrender my craving to the French: President’s goat cheese. Expensive-$10 and up.

So you’ll probably see the importance of this post, as I’m over the top excited of finding  great goat cheese locally produced here. If you buy it straight from their store, this block of soft cheese is only 20 pesos ($4.50). Also, another advantage is the dozen of choices to choose from, compared to just the hard goat cheese version they sell in the supermarket. They have sheep cheese, goat cheese, various kinds from feta to chevrotin. My favorite of theirs are Cabrauntar: rich and bleaty 🙂

Cabaña Piedras Blancas

www.piedrasblancas.com.ar

Rodriguez Peña 2445, Martinez, Buenos Aires

Soy-Cheese aka Tofu

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on February 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I ❤ you

Storefront

What might be overlooked as a shabby storefront selling nothing special, is actually a store dedicated to all things soy. So far, this is the only place I know of that sells such varieties of soybean products. (I might be wrong about the ‘only’, knowing asians are good at supplying anything under the table. Btw: I say this in the most endearing way possible.)

This store gets me excited whenever I walk in. They stock regular blocks of firm to soft tofu (they call it queso de soja:cheese of soy), sweet and non sweetened soy milk, and also my favorite fried tofu triangles and dried tofu. This is a great find for tofu lovers; their ingredients are fresh and simply delicious, a lot better than the package store-bought ones.

Location: In Barrio Chino, across the street from Ichiban supermarket on Arribeños.

A Big Slab of Moo

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on February 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Look at that beautiful Ojo de Bife (Rib Eye)

I know. Who blogs about raw meat? But….it has fed me so well. It is only fair that I return the favor by writing about it.

These 2 grand pieces of melt-in-your-mouth grass fed beef, well marbled, juicy and tender only cost me 26 pesos ($6.50). Heat up the iron skillet, rub some oil, sprinkle salt, pepper and seasoning; cook to medium-rare; WOW. I’ve bought my share of beef in BA, but never once comparable to Carrefour’s Etiqueta Negra (Black Label Beef). The best kinds out there.




Health Addicts

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on January 13, 2011 at 1:30 am

Bottles of Spices

One of my favorites

Ironically, this country is as obsessed about their appearance, (or shall we say ‘health’) as they are with their chunks of beef, and late night socializing. Fine by me because I love meat and I also love to be healthy. 🙂

Dietéticas, health stores, are commonly located every few blocks, selling whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, gluten-free products, honey, nuts, rice, soy milk, natural sugar, tea, home-made desserts, and the list just goes on. I’m always curious though, as I’m buying my cardamom pods and cumin powder, how these health stores work in this culture.  These health stores sell such surprisingly varieties of herbs and health products, in contrast, porteños’ diet consists of lots of white bread, sugar, and bland dishes.  Hey, I’m not complaining at all. I much prefer walking right next door for my organic products than driving to my nearest Whole Foods or Trader Joes. (But I do miss  crunchy peanut butter.)

Layers of Crunch and Chew

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on December 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

 

What is this called again?

 

My porteño patient pointed to this last pastry in this big paper tray covered with powdered sugar. He explained how important this moment is for me-as a foodie- how this particular confetería is over 100 years old with heaven-like pastries. As he was talking, I was looking at his stomach and comically thinking,”…but señor..where did the other pastries go? ”

Confitería la Pasta Frola

Av. Corrientes 1365, Central, Buenos Aires 4371 6761

(http://www.la-pastafrola.com.ar/)

Italian and German pastries have made their way into the pastry culture of BA. This particular one that is now in my belly, is called Sfogliatelle. What a complicated name to say, especially with my mouth full of this crunchy sugary goodness.

This was a good first Sfogliatelle experience: light and flaky, the crunchy layers are easily hand-teared, with a ricotta-like sweetness in the middle.

Crack Chips

In Shopping on October 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Before frying it up

The result: crack!

One of the many street snacks I love in Southeast Asia. Ingredients: crab, tapioca flour, garlic, salt and pepper, 17 chips= 105 calories. Giddy up!

I saw it at Belgrano for 25 pesos (~$6) and couldn’t wait to try it out. Super easy. Heat the oil until hot, throw a small quantity and within 10 seconds the chips puffs up, all ready to be consume. MMM Addictive! I call it Crack Chips, not Crab Chips.

*Note: either eat it as a snack, or accompanying it with rice and dishes.

Sight for Sore Eyes

In Shopping on October 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm

The Famous Confiteria

One-bite savories

My first pictures are made to show how delicious their medialunas are, unfortunately, their medialunas were getting sold out, so it was a bit hard to take great pictures. So here I am, making it up by using words to describe how delicious their medialunas are.

*I’ve yet to try their adjacent restaurant, highly recommended by my spanish teacher.

Vincente Lopez Confitería

Av. Maipu 701/707 Vincente Lopez, Buenos Aires 4791 7322 (http://www.lavicentelopez.com.ar/)

They have one kind of medialunas de grasa, which has a slight sweet exterior. Vincente Lopez is now our top choice for this flavour of crossiant: perfect crunch, just enough sweetness and not too oily. Still, our favorite original salty medialuna de grasa is the Confitería Antigua Belgrano, from my previous post. My eyes didn’t just linger on their medialunas; they have all kinds of cakes, chocolates, breads- a beautiful sight for sore eyes. Also, it was here I discovered another series of great pastries: Masas Seca and Masas Fina.

Masas Seca or Masas Fina, are little delicious bite-size pastries, representing the food culture in Buenos Aires. Masas fina are sweet bite-size pastries with some kind of mousse/cream fillings, which often needs to be refrigerated. On the otherhand, Masas seca doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has options of savory and sweet. Most of the time in a coffee shop, an order of coffee comes with some sort of one little sweet masas seca or masas fina, while the savories are eaten as snacks or accompanying wine. I chomped down one of each of the savories: poppy seed, dried red pepper, walnut, cardamom, fennel seed etc. My favorite is the cardamom flavor- Yum.

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