Archive | July, 2011

My Gourmet Market in Palermo

28 Jul

I’m a Palermo Hollywood girl through-and-through. I love my neighborhood. I love the big, leafy trees that line the roads. I love the hip, over-priced restaurants and bars. And I love the fact that on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when walking back from yoga in my sweats, I often see celebrities like Ricardo Darín, Federico Aubele or Guillermo Martinez, sitting in a café, enjoying a lunch with friends. I really love the atmosphere.

What I don’t love so much is the lack of acceptable grocery stores in the area. Sure, we have a “chino” around the corner, but we all know how much they jack up their prices. And there’s always Jumbo nearby, but they are almost as bad as the chino with overpricing products. Don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve been “accidently” over-charged at Jumbo. ALWAYS be vigilent and double-check your receipt!

So, I was really happy when I found the Bodega Amparo, the perfect blend of good location, good prices and good quality. What can you get at the Bodega Amparo? Ok, well it’s not your normal supermarket, so you won’t find milk and paper towels here, but they DO have this giant jar of Maille mustard for only 63 pesos! I got addicted to Maille when living in France and am so glad to find a good local hook-up.

Giante jar of Maille Mustard

This mustard means business.

They also have a great selection of cold cuts and cheese, including the best turkey and cheddar cheese I’ve found in Buenos Aires. Friendly tip: beware the sliced turkey in Buenos Aires! It’s often filled with gelatin and fake turkey flavor…yuck.

Their wine selection is pretty decent, with discounts if you buy 6 or more bottles. You’ll find dried herbs and spices, lots and cheap. All different types of flours, brown sugar, chocolates, olive oils, bulk nuts, you got your Mexican products, your Asian products, your gluten-free…look, they’ve pretty much got EVERYTHING a modern, hip chef may need.

OH, and best of all..they have a fruit and vegetable market onsite with pretty decent prices. Although, I won’t vouch for the quality as I’ve never actaully bought from there…we’ve got a nice vegetable man who delivers to our door 🙂

They’ve recently relocated from a creepy location under the bridge, to another location, still under the bridge, but much less creepy and look how beautiful the new store is!

Bodega Amparo

Stolen from the Bodega Amparo Website...Gracias!

If you are in Palermo and looking for some good-quality and hard-to-find gourmet products, check out Bodega Amparo!

A difference of opinions…or worse?

25 Jul

I was doing my usual Monday morning blog catch-up today and I started to think about a serious issue: in this small world of Buenos Aires expats bloggers, there seems to be a difference of opinions, especially when it comes to food. I tend to think that bad food is a given, if I go to X restaurant and have a horrible time, I imagine that everyone else will too.

So, I was suprised when reading “Pick up the Fork”, whose opinion on food I usually respect, give a raving review of Magdalena’s Party. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that impressed with the place, and found it rather greasy and normal tasting.

Or how about the fact that over at My.Beautiful.Air, the Palermo Hollywood restaurant Bio was given a great review, when in fact it’s over-priced for the B-O-R-I-N-G cardboard they try to pass off as food (in my opinion of course).

There can only be one answer folks: the quality at restaurants in Buenos Aires is INCONSISTENT! I have come to believe this as the ultimate truth.

How else would it be possible that just a few weeks ago I swore up and down that I would never eat at another restaurant again unless it was Social Paraiso, and when I went last Saturday, I left thinking “meh.” I mean c’mon guys! The crême brulée had the consistency of under-cooked scrambled eggs!! Give me a break!!

So what are we supposed to do as consumers? Complain? Go on strike? I feel lost in sea of potentially good restaurants gone bad…

Orange marmalade, easier than you thought

22 Jul

I first got the idea of making my own jam after having an afternoon merienda at Masa Madre in Chacarita. Victor and I went there after stopping by the “El Galpón” organic market….which by the way was completely disappointing, but I’ll tell you about that another time. The merienda included a coffee, some assorted home-made breads, a small orange juice and home-made kiwi apple jam. The jam itself was really fresh tasting with lovely chunks of real fruit, the flavor was intense and juicy. From the first bite, I knew I was going to have to make my own. Not to mention that home-made jam is part of my new plan on being less dependant on mass-produced food.

So, the next weekend, when I got an intense craving for cream scones (I know, weird craving, but there’s something about the texture that’s so comforting), I knew that only a fresh home-made jam would suffice. I scoured the internet for recipes, and unfortunately found that most recipes require lots of preparation and lots of time. Two things I’m definitely not into. Then, I found this recipe for fast, easy orange marmalade.

For my first time making marmalade this was the perfect recipe. It takes just a few minutes to throw together, and you only have to come into the kitchen every few minutes to stir it up.

It was as simple as cutting up two oranges, throwing it in a food processor, pureering it, mixing in 4 tbls of water and a cup of sugar and gently boiling it for 15 minutes!

The final product, fast and easy orange marmalade

Honestly, I was suprised at the outcome. It is such a fresh-tasting marmalade and not over-sugary at all. Plus, the house smelled uh-mazing afterwards! I can’t really see the point of spending hours to make a similar jam, I mean…is it really worth it?

I’ve done some research, and the reason this works so well with oranges is because of the high level of natural pectin it has. So, natural pectin = easy jam, right? Definitely going to try this with other fruits this week….I have some grapefruit all lined up in the fridge waiting to be jammed. 🙂

Have you had any jam-making experiences? Do you have any tips to share? Let us know!

Cream scones from Joy of Baking

A Dark, Warm Place to Hide

21 Jul
 I’ve hesitated for a long time about creating my own blog. “What do I have to say to all those people out there?” I would ask myself.
You see, I’m afraid of writing. I go around and around in circles about what to write about, always coming up with new ideas, never acting upon them, and finally tossing them out as rubbish.
So, here I go. I’m going to just jump into the water. I’m going to share with all of you my knowledge. (Truth is, I’m a bit of a know-it-all, it’s a side-effect from being the youngest child.)
I want to share my recipes, my opinions on restaurants and businesses in Buenos Aires, my favorite places to travel and my love for cats.
Please feel free to join the conversation…it can get lonely in this warm, dark place!
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