One thing about a new destination you may have to adjust to while traveling with kids is the local cuisine. While some families revel in the opportunity to fly to exotic destinations and taste their way through the country, others have some choosey eaters on their hands. A compromise for families on both sides of the coin? Authentic South American cuisine. For foodies, there’s nothing better; for skeptics, the popular American-ized versions back at home can help even some of the more challenging dishes may seem approachable.
One destination where you can easily find choices for the kids: Argentina. Equip yourselves with this list of must-haves on your family vacation and enjoy the country’s rich culture and culinary traditions without seeking the nearest chicken nuggets and fries.
A nice easy start for kids and always a crowd-pleaser, empanadas are a great Argentinian go-to. One part pastry, one part savory, empanadas offer a portable snack of a crusty pocket, like a calzone, filled with a variety of delights, including ground beef, chicken, cheeses, corn and other vegetables, or the dessert variety with jams, sweet potato, cinnamon and sugar.
If your kids like hot dogs with all the trimmings, they will love a choripán. This hand-held meal consist of grilled chorizo, split down the middle and topped with chimichurri sauce (a sauce or dressing made of finely chopped garlic, parsley, olive oil, oregano and vinegar, typically green, but can be red depending on the recipe) and salsa — all loaded on a crispy Spanish-style bread bun. This snack originated in Argentina and Uruguay for the working-class and remains a popular meal at sporting events and casual settings.
For the barbecue fans in the family, anything asado is a winner. Authentic Argentinian asado, or barbecue, establishments will grill a wide variety of locally sourced meats over an open flame, giving way to a leisurely afternoon loaded with protein.
If this sounds like a whole lot of meat, take a break with some provoleta. Much like a grilled cheese, sans bread, this dish of cow’s milk cheese is often grilled in a cast-iron skillet and served alongside, or before, asado.
Dulce de Leche
Time for dessert or just a sweet afternoon pick-me-up? Dulce de leche is far more than just an ice cream flavor. Utilizing the region’s beloved ingredient, milk, along with sugar and often chocolate, thee sweets are balled into a truffle-like creation, cake or variety of sweets with a caramelized flavor.
For more of a cookie kid, alfajores are of the short bread variety. Try the sweet biscuit, sandwiched with a fruity jam, dulce de leche or a rich chocolatey mousse.