Buenos Aires

On November 30th, Argentina celebrates the National Day of the Yerba Mate. 

More than 500 years ago, native guaraníes were already using these leaves to prepare an energetic beverage. Nowadays, both Argentina and Uruguay love "mate", not only in the countryside but in the cities too. 

But what can we expect when we are offered a "mate"?

Its 50th anniversary, and The British travel magazine decided to find the 50 best neigborhoods in the world for travelers as well as for locals. With its various art galleries, boutique hotels and a broad variety of restaurants and nightlife, Palermo Soho in Buenos Aires was ranked as one of these neighborhoods. The photo above shows you a street in this quiet and yet vibrant neighborhood.

Talking about steakhouses, Don Julio is one of my favorite, rated 55 among the 100 best steakhouses in the world. The address: Guatemala with Gurruchaga, quite close to IW Languages.

Our Spanish vocab tips as regards ordering a steak:

Puede traerme un bife de chorizo o un ojo de bife con ensalada? / Can I have a strip steak or a ribeye steak and a salad?

Quisiera mi bife a punto/jugoso/cocido. / I'd like my steak rare/medium/well-done.

 

 

Why not prepare asado after your Spanish class?

 

While in Argentina, I'm sure you will want to taste our typical dish: asado. And why not trying to prepare it too?

These are some tips to help you:

 

1) Start your fire full of energy and cook directly on charcoal. If you need  motivation, think about the satisfaction you will feel when, in the middle of the banquette, you hear "A round applause for  the cook (asador)". 

 

2) Choose carefully what you are going to cook.

 

You have decided to prepare an asado for the first time in your life. Take my advice: choose a thin rib, a matambrito pork and a thin flank. For a first time, these are still good even if you cook them more than needed. 

 

3) I prefer buying the meat at the butcher's, where you can ask what you need in more detail. 

 

4) To light the fire, you need charcoal, paper, wood and matches. To move the charcoal you need a shovel. And you need a spatula to move the meat over the barbecue.

 

5) To light the fire effectively, wrinkle the paper and put it over the floor of your parrilla. Put the wood over it and then put a small amount of charcoal over the wood. Then light the paper and when it is lit go on adding charcoal slowly. 

 

6) Work with each cut of meat separately. 

 

7) Last but not least: don´t forget the salads and the fries. And the dressings for the meat: chimichurri and salsa criolla. 

 

Article based on Diario La Nación, May 17th, 2016

 

Next month, we have a long weekend in Argentina, and many of us in Buenos Aires will leave the city. 

These are some options where you can go:

 Near Buenos Aires:

You can take a train to Tigre and be there in about 50 minutes from Retiro train station. Or you can go on a tour with a tour on catamaran along the Delta, as in the image above.

If you prefer to take a bus and go south of the country, you could visit Bariloche with its lakes and mountains, or Salta and Jujuy with their particular scenery. Or you can even choose Cataratas del Iguazu, the beautiful falls up north in the border with Brazil and Paraguay.

Should you go far from Buenos Aires or remain near, you will always have the opportunity to practice your Spanish.