The guy has it right, that the pizza is different. But after living here a while, you learn to appreciate that the cheese actually has flavor and the fugazzetta... with its cream cheese sauce under the mozzarella with flavor and then covered with onions and maybe a bit of olive oil (or whatever they put on it)... yum.
It took me a while to come around, but it's good. You just can't compare it to the pizza you grew up with. Or at least I can't.
I'm amazed and relieved that someone else has had the courage to stand up and say something. I've been an in the closet BA pizza hater for some time now and have felt disgust and self hatred thinking I was the only one. This feels so liberating!
Fully agree that the Pizza here is in general like eating cardboard mixed with axel grease. I remember thinking when I moved here for a city of Italian immigrants they had no idea of their culinary history .
The best pizzas in the world are in my opinion in Melbourne Australia and the Italian food there as good or better than Italy.
The best cuisine in South America is Peruvian and they are starting to create a mighty fusion between asian and indigenous ingredients. Luckily for us there are some excellent Peruvian restaurants in Buenos Aires
The key to good cooking is the use of high quality ingredients. Sadly, the raw goods here are generally poor quality. You have to pay a fortune for good cheese - available mainly in a few high end cheese shops. Tomatoes are rock hard without any flavor (cherry tomatoes the most palatable), vegetables - especially lettuce - are often in pathetic shape by the time they reach the market. Bread in Buenos Aires is very poor and seems to have a short shelf life. And let's not get into the topic of 'medialunas'. If you've been to France you know the difference. So taking all this into consideration, it is little surprise that pizza is horrible. On my last trip to Italy I found it fantastic. In fact, I never had a bad meal anywhere and it was not much more expensive than going to good places here. LA STAMPA in La Recova has better than average pizza, by the way. It's a high end place but pizza is on the menu and it is pretty good. I agree with the poster who commented that the quality of Italian food here should be a lot better given the huge population of Italian descent.
im in agreement with napoleon on the fact that you 'come around', though i hate myself for it...
sergio is right on all counts - i was in france and italy recently and it made me realise how much i had got used to here - i found the flavours over there astonishing...
my argentine wife on the other hand would NOT eat croissants in france. She found them bland and disliked the texture. I found that extremely hard to take, that someone could miss these 'medialunas' here and not appreciate the originals!
AS a side note though, there is a small shopping centre on libertador in Martinez with a cafe that has medialunas that, if you can believe it, whilst traditionally argentine, they were bloody lovely...(!)
Once in awhile you find decent medialunas here. AROMA used to have very good ones. They actually seemed to use butter (absent from most baked goods here). Not sure if Aroma's medialunas are still good. Maybe someone can update me. I am not surprised that your wife disliked French croissants. People get used to what they know and often hold up their lifetime or childhood food experience as the model. I remember someone telling me how he hated real maple syrup. He was used to the gloppy chemical version most Americans eat, so the natural light syrup that comes out of a tree was distasteful to him! Argentines are very conventional people, disinclined to try new things. They tend to be stubborn when it comes to the way they do things, resist adopting more efficient methods. When it comes to food they are the same way. They go to a good restaurant and what do they order -- a MILANESA! I know an Argentine in the US who after fifteen years still refuses to eat seafood. He lives in an area where they have fresh lobster but he has never tried one! What I find really amazing is how many Porteños think Americans know NOTHING about food. I ask them what restaurants they ate at in New York and they tell me McDonald's! It's a narrow mindset I'm afraid.
Argentina has very low standards regarding food and what seems only a pretend food protection policy. No one can convince me that the milk isnt watered down and tampered with. The air is black and greasy, the water comes from a super contaminated river, many products have the carcinogen Formaldehyde, and the juice is loaded with sugar.
Pizza is horrible, but its also a different style. I always found the doughy "pizza pie" style pizzas that come slathered in ketchup with a pound of industrial cheese melted on top pretty disgusting compared to the italian thin crust types, but its a question of taste.
You can get good fruit and veg if you use a good grocers instead of buying crap in supermarkets. Same goes for good meat, fish, fiambres, quesos etc - you just have to shop in places that specialise in selling them.
You can cook great meals here, using great ingredients providing you're prepared to find good sources for produce. I've made good pizza here according to how I like pizza to taste. Its doable, just takes a little more effort.
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