Sunday, 3 April 2011
Mendoza: The best chorizo is not a sausage!
Next stop going south was Mendoza, where it felt like being in the middle of the countryside having some tasty meat accompanied with red wine, but the city is actually one of the biggest in the country.
Its rigid structure of calles and carreteras is only interrupted by parks and squares, with an European feeling of modernity in its architecture.
We enjoyed ourselves in a slow pace through the city and enjoyed also the regional gastronomy, which involves meat and wine. I ate, probably, the biggest, thickest, juiciest, tastiest chunk of meat in my life, the famous Argentinian 'bife de chorizo' and although at the end of the meal I promised I wouldn't need to eat more meat for the rest of my life, a few days later there we were again.
Since we had been stuffing our bellies with food, we decided to do some sports, and what better way to do some sports than riding a bike through some of the famous vineyards and doing some wine tasting?
The highlight was maybe the beautiful Trapiche cave, which feels more like a mansion, where everything is clean, organized and with purpose.
There was also a stage with a solo singer and guitar player. Although we didn't know any of the songs, the locals did and they were clapping, singing and cheering like if it was the best concert ever, soon after we found our selves clapping too, as it would be impolite not to participate.
I have to say that the food here was not very healthy, most of it was fried, and even an innocent sandwich was accompanied by fries and the bread was toasted in a pan.
Next to us a family was having an interesting meal, a 'pizza burger'. Imagine a pizza cut in half and placed like a sandwich, stuffed inside with some meat, pieces of ham, fried eggs, sausage and a few vegetables, as a side dish: french fries. That was their meal.
But not everyone in Mendonza was doing these bizzarrities, and sometimes we give too much attention to what we find uncommon, but that was very curious. I think portuguese lovers of 'francesinhas' still have a lot to learn.
In Mendoza and in general in Argentina people are fit, and like to do sports and take advantage of the spaces available in their cities.