Argentine beef has nothing on Argentine bread.* I am a carb queen and bread tops my list. That said, about 2 years ago Matt and I started following a low carb diet and bread was banned from our house except when we had company or on a rare special occasion. Avoiding bread in Peru isn’t too difficult as restaurants do not serve bread (instead serving cancha, carbs, I know, but irresistible). And then we got to Argentina. Bread Bliss. Flaky rolls, yeasty slices, crispy crackers, warm loafs, crunchy grissini, crackling wheats – we had them all. These were some of the outstanding ones.
Every restaurant had different breads, and while the nicer restaurants generally had the best kinds, sometimes the small joints pleasantly surprised us. The typical accompaniment was a diluted cream cheese concoction, with chives (most common), herbs or, once, beets. Butter and olive oil were rare and sadly tasteless. The olive oil in particular was a surprising disappointment as we expected good olive oil to come with good wine. No such luck. My favorite accompaniment was the eggplant spread, which we had at two different places.
Now we are back in Peru and off the bread. Sigh.
* I actually mean that. Despite Argentina’s reputation for amazing beef, we were generally underwhelmed. We had some decent beef, but none so tender you could cut it with a butter knife. And sometimes you couldn’t cut it with a steak knife. We did have a darn good burger at Burger Joint – the best we have found in South America, including the ones we cook at home!