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Comments about Argentina

Jan 23 08

Being vegan in Argentina isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done, especially in Buenos Aires. Here's a few tips:

  • Unfortunately, your best bet in most restaurants (as a vegan) is a salad. Luckily, the salads are usually very good, with a wide variety of veggies (including avocado, or palta).
  • Most pasta in any restaurant in Argentina is NOT vegan, as almost all of it is homemade and includes eggs. The only pasta that may be vegan would be any dried pasta (like penne), but it is not commonly found in restaurants.
  • Empanadas are also not very vegan-friendly. The dough is typically made with milk/eggs and the filling (even if cheeseless) often contains white sauce, which is made with milk products. Esquina Las Flores does have some great vegan empanadas though, filled with a variety of vegetables or beans.
  • If you're looking for some fast, cheap food that is NOT a salad (and is not necessary healthy), try looking for fugazza in the local pizza place. Fugazza is a type of pizza that is basically pizza dough, olive oil, oregano, and sweet onions. It's found in most pizza places, but watch out for its sister pizza, fugazetta, which has cheese. If you can, go to a place that sells it by the slice (porciones), as it is much cheaper that way. Another thing to look out for in pizza places is fainá, which is a fried chickpea dough that is usually eaten on top of a slice of pizza.
  • Argentines eat A LOT of sweets, especially the famous dulce de leche (a type of milk caramel spread) and alfajores (little cookie sandwiches usually filled with dulce de leche or other sweet spreads). Unfortunately, almost everything contains beef fat (grasa vacuna or grasa bovina) and/or milk products (hence the "leche" in "dulce de leche"), so learn to read labels. If you want to try some of the cookies, etc., check out one of the local dieteticas (health food stores), where they usually have wide variety of sweets with some more vegan-friendly options (though it can be difficult to find any baked goods made without honey - "miel"). On occasion, one can also find jars of dulce de leche made from soy milk in the health food stores; I was able to locate some in the large Asian market in the Belgrano neighborhood.

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