For Christmas and New Year, Mr D and I decided to escape the snow and cold of London for sunny Argentina and Brazil. This wasn’t our first trip to Argentina. In 2007 we spent a couple of weeks on a trip flying into Santiago, flying down to Tierra del Fuego, going on to trek the ‘W’ in Patagonia before heading on to Buenos Aires. I don’t know if it’s the eclectic architectural styles of the city, the passionate buzz or just the sweet joy of Dulce de Leche but I love Buenos Aires. So I was pretty excited to be heading back to B.A.
For this trip, we left London on Christmas Eve, flying on TAM with a brief stop to change planes in Sao Paulo. We arrived in Buenos Aires on Christmas Day and were met with heat and blue skies. Just what we were looking for. Arriving on Christmas Day also meant something else. Christmas dinner would be melt in the mouth Bife de Lomo and a glass of Malbec. Christmas dinner doesn’t get much better than this!
If you’re vegetarian, you might want to stop reading this now. Argentina really is a meat lovers paradise. I’ll be honest and say I was so into choosing my steak, I didn’t consider what vegetarian options were available. Very naughty since I was veggie for a long time. Of the cuts of beef I sampled, the tender Bife de Lomo gets my vote. The photo of my Christmas lunch is quite indicative of the way steak was served in most restaurants….with egg (or not if you’d prefer) and some fried potatoes. I used my trusty Coeliac Travel cards to check the potatoes were not coated in flour (they weren’t) and the meat was usually grilled on a parrilla or barbecue style grill.
I found eating gluten free in Buenos Aires – and later Iguazu – easy although I focused mainly on steaks and adapting menu items to remove items containing gluten such as sauces from the meal, much like I would at home. The Coeliac Travel cards helped as always. I even managed to find an ice cream shop in Buenos Aires with a nutritional book which indicated which of their ice creams were gluten free! You can check out the Freddo ice cream shop website here. And yes, you can have gluten free Dulce de Leche ice cream!
There were plenty of gluten free snacks available. I loved these rice sandwich bars (various flavours, Dulce de Leche was my favourite) were easy to find.
These high fibre, zero cholesterol quinoa and prune bars made by Nature Crops were really tasty and wholesome, standing up well to a day of sightseeing in the heat while inside my day sac.
When you’re in Argentina look out for gluten free products labelled as ‘Sin T.A.C.C” or “Libre de Gluten”. The Spanish translation of T.A.C.C. means Trigo (wheat), Aveno (oats), Cebada (barley) and Centeno (Rye). They are also labelled with a crossed grain symbol (which you can see in both of the photos above) making the gluten free items easy to spot on a store shelf.
Highly recommended while in Buenos Aires is a trip to the Dietetica 100% Natural stores which can be found all over Buenos Aires. They have a huge selection of gluten free items. The store in Alto Palermo even stocks a gluten free version that very Argentinian snack, the empanada.
After leaving Buenos Aires we flew up to the mighty Iguazu Falls. I’ll end this blog post with a photo of the falls on the Argentine side of Iguazu. The force of nature pushing the water over the falls was something quite incredible and emotionally overwhelming.