The Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, said once that “Argentinians were Europeans in the exile…” Why? What did he mean?
At the beginning of the XXth century, Argentina, former Spanish colony, like the rest of Latin America (except Brazil), receives thousands of European inmigrants, escaping from war, poverty and hunger…and while inmigrants were coming from the whole of Europe, the biggest numbers came from Italy and Spain. All these inmigrants left their imprint on our personality…some say we are “Italians that speak Spanish”, which is partly true, since we are boisterous people, that speak waving our hands, we are friendly, prone to exaggeration and drama…certainly Italy has given us more than pizza and pasta…what we are is partly this Italian perception of life….But then, we have always admired German efficiency, the business sense of the English….but our real “love affair” has unmistakably been with a beautiful and refined lady called “France”..For those Argentinians living in a “nostalgic exile”, so far of Europe, in a new land…the new country had to be molded but that would be under the model of what they considered artistic perfection, beauty in shapes and architecture…consequently Buenos Aires was built in homage to France….
The Alvear Palace Hotel, on Alvear Avenue, in the neighbourhood of Recoleta, the most glamorous neighbourhood of the city.
Alvear Avenue has been dubbed “The Faubourg St Honoré of South America”. The French Embassy had to be on this street, of course! (building at the far end)
How were we going to call the most beautiful park in the city? Plaza Francia..bien sûr! (of course)
The National Museum of Fine Arts, in front of Plaza Francia.
In 1910, for the 100th anniversary of the Argentine nation, we received this incredible marble sculpture, from the French goverment….
Well, this is only a glimpse of one part of my city….Buenos Aires is tango, so the music that came to my mind, while looking at these photographs is “Balada para un loco” (Balad for a madman), music composed by Astor Piazzola (who revolutionized tango music with his compositions), sung by Amelita Baltar. The song tells the story of a woman, who, in the streets of Recoleta, comes across a madman, a “piantado” (argentine slang), and she falls in love with him, and succumbs under the fascination of his world full of dreams, of colours, of music…..One of my favourite songs, maybe because I am also a bit “piantada” (crazy) =)
If you ever visit Buenos Aires, you will be surprised by the quality and variety of its gastronomy….I would recommend you stopping by these places…
For Argentinian beef…”asado”
* La Cabrera, in the neighbourhood of Palermo Soho, excellent beef quality, excellent price-quality rapport…One beef serves four people !!!
* La Caballeriza, staged on former horse paddocks, next to the San Isidro Horse Racing Track…
Northern Argentinian Cooking
Best pizza and “empanadas”
* Los Inmortales, the “cathedral” of Argentine pizza, more than 30 different options…walls painted with caricatures of Argentinian musicians, actors…
(mind you!!, Argentinian “helado” (icecream) should be rated as one of the best in the world!)
French Cuisine (French fusion)
* Tegui, by famous chef, German Martitegui, the avant-garde of Argentinian gastronomy, French technique, global flavors, South American accent.
* Sushi Club (Japanese) Biggest and most creative rolls, maquis ever!
* Astrid y Gaston (Peruvian) Gaston has taken Peruvian cooking to the highest standard!
I am sure you will enjoy a visit to Buenos Aires!