Monday, September 07, 2009

Hold the ketchup

Buenos Aires is a city of many talents, with much to recommend it, but should you have occasion someday to visit, I suggest you skip the ketchup.

I finally had the opportunity to meet in person on this trip with the Bolivian friend from online whose fault it is that my Spanish is (usually) functional. We had lunch in a restaurant and he ordered the Milanesa, a piece of meat pounded flat and breaded. This dish came with fries (papas fritas), and my friend began by dipping them into mayonnaise.

I explained that the North American habit is to dip fries into ketchup, and he seemed puzzled by this, but there was ketchup on the table, so he tried some. Then he made a face and declined to continue. I stole a fry from him and tasted it myself, and found that it was indeed rather terrible. Remember the old Pace commercial in which the cowboys are shocked to find that their brand X salsa is made in New York City, rather than someplace where people know what it's supposed to taste like? It was like that.

There is far more to report about this place and this trip than the bad ketchup, but I think most of the rest should wait until I can post photos to go along. I'm taking notes, in the meantime. At least the blogs should only get better from here.


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