Claire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.
In this week's post, Claire compiles a top 10 list that'll make anyone with a sweet tooth delighted in Buenos Aires.
If you have a sweet tooth, Buenos Aires is the perfect place for you. There’s a never ending supply of sweets here, it’s been a city full of temptations for me. Though I haven’t quite accomplished my goal of trying all the alfajor (sweet cookies with a dulce de leche filling, sometimes covered in chocolate) options there are, I think it’s safe to say I’m practically an expert.
Decadent Argentinian dulces!
Though Argentina’s best alfajor is debated as hotly as the controversial president, anything with chocolate and ooey gooey dulce de leche is bound to be incredible. So, here’s my list of the top ten sweets in Buenos Aires.
If you haven’t guessed yet, the alfajor is my number one. My favorites are the Jorgitos, especially the little minis that come in a tube. Oh man, I could eat the entire container. After Jorgito, my second favorite is Havanna. I love Havanna not just because of the sweet memories I have with those cookies, but also because I truly do think they’re the best. And the Havanna cafes make you feel like you’re treating yourself big time, but you can get café con leche and an alfajor for around five dollars.
Argentines are really proud to show you their alfajor of choice, too. These alfajores in this picture were given to us by a worker who found out we had never tried them.
My second favorite dessert in Buenos Aires is the Havannete. Basically a large version of the alfajor, but with giant globs of dulce de leche on top, I love this cake. The first time I ever had it was on a hospital visit in the rehab department where they had one of my new friends cut it as therapy, and then he served each of us. It was made sweeter by the company of incredible therapists and patients.
Photo credit: Pastrafrolas by palbo
I have to add the pastafrola here, aka pie, for any of you dulce de leche haters who are wondering what exactly you’re going to eat in Buenos Aires. I prefer to spend my calories on chocolate and dulce de leche, but if you want a fruity dessert, the pastafrolas here are really delicious. You can find them in every panadería, and I really encourage you to go for the sweet potato kind. It’s amazing.
Oh my goodness. Do you see it there, off to the side in this picture? The one with what looks like peanut butter but isn’t and chocolate swirls on top? Yeah, it’s that good in real life. I had no idea how famous it was when this picture was taken, but if I had known, I would have taken probably an abnormal amount of pictures of this masterpiece. Made with a cookie that you can almost only find in Argentina, chocolinas, you can bet I’ll be filling my bag with those suckers before I go home. Chocotorta is made by mixing cream cheese with dulce de leche and then drenching the chocolina-made chocolate cake in that delicious mixture. Mmm. So good.
Photo credit: Flan by Wally Gobetz
I have to add Flan to my list, because it’s one of the most popular desserts here. Basically just sugar and eggs, and often dulce de leche, it isn’t one of my favorite desserts. But it IS a favorite here. You can get it in most restaurants, but the best I ever had was homemade. So, as long you make some Argentine friends while you’re here, you’ll be sure to get a taste.
6. Bon o Bons
Peanut butter isn’t popular here, and yet there’s Bon o Bons. I spent all of my last pesos on bon o bons when I flew home from Argentina in high school. I’d do it again. Filled with a delicious almost-peanut butter flavor, and coated in a waver and chocolate, the normal bon o bons are divine. The easter eggs were SO good.
This is kind of cheating because they’re not really dessert, but a list of the best sweets in Argentina would be so wrong to leave out medialunas. They are so much doughier, much sweeter, much crispier than croissants, and if you like any type of bread you’ll love it! Alongside them, they sell what I call Argentina’s version of donuts: other types of medialunas with dulce de leche, candied fruits, etc. If you’re ever in Buenos Aires, I think I’ve determined it: the best medialunas of the city are in Alma Café, right inside the doorway of Retiro train station. Now every time I walk by it’s going to be hard to not buy one…
I went months only eating the budín you buy in the grocery store, which, to be fair, is really good. But then I went on a class tour to this pulpería, and this was the offered dessert. Oh my goodness. It’s a kind of bread pudding, and after you eat it with dulce de leche and cream, you’ll never be able to eat bread pudding another way.
Photo credit: Helado by shell belle
Obviously there’s ice cream in all parts of the world, but is there dulce de leche ice cream? The only kind I have found in the U.S. so far has been the haagen daz brand, and while it’s good, the sheer abundance here is insane. My favorite dulce de leche variations have been dulce de leche with almonds, and dulce de leche paired with coconut icecream. Riquísimo.
10. My Friends
But out of all the impressive sweets they have in this city, hands down the sweetest gift to me has been the friends I’ve made. Because, really, what’s a good dessert without some company? (Also disclaimer cotton candy is exactly the same here).
I hope you've enjoyed going through this delicious and taken some notes on what to try when you get to Buenos Aires!
Claire's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.