tirsdag, mars 20, 2007

Ice ice baby

It is not all about the juicy meat. Thanks to the influx of Italian immigrants early last century Buenos Aires boasts the world's second best ice cream. The motherland naturally keeps the top spot in internacional competitions.

On a typical hot, humid day nothing beats strolling into one of the many upscale artisanal vendors and choosing from 70+ different flavours. After years of testing I pronounce Persicco and Volta as the premium places to visit, though quality can vary a bit between different outlets.

So what is so fantastic about Argentinian ice cream compared to the industrialised versions? Taste and texture. All natural ingredients are used and the result is divine. Go for a cuarto, 1/4 kilos of lovlieness, most commonly divided between three flavours. Try the different chocholate flavours that tastes better than real chocholate, but my advice is to steer well clear of the sambayón, which is ice cream with wine flavour! My Malbec works just fine in a glass, thank you.

mandag, mars 05, 2007

Football is violence

"A rock just passed centimetres from my head" my Argentinian mate told me in a strangely calm voice. I was getting a bit too close to the infamous football violence of the Argentinian league.

The match was Racing-Newell's Old Boys, normally not one of the most heated battles to be seen in Buenos Aires, the away team hailing from the in-land city of Rosario. Newell's with zero points should be a passable opponent for big club Racing, who this season had invested the most in new players of all the clubs. Results had eluded them once again though, only two paltry points gained from the first four rounds. A familiar story of failing to live up to big expectations for the Racing hinchas, much like last year.

Pleasantly located on VIP-seats on the pitch itself, my friend who is a die-hard supporter of Newell's unwisely failed to contain himself when outsiders Newell's quickly scored the first goal. Racing were playing crap, again. Then the ref wrongly disallowed the 0-2 when the ball had crossed the line, and my friend crying out that it was a goal quickly became enganged in a heated discussion with the neighbours. Then more than extremely harsh language started flying from the Racing plebs in the stands behind, who had enjoyed a prime view of the Newell's clown cheering in the VIP section. An immense sensation of HATE.

Security soon appeared to intervene and move us to a different part of the section, and at this point a rock almost hit my friend. Guards wearing t-shirts stating No más violencia - un mensaje de dios failed to grant much comfort. Luckily no more incidents at halftime as we sought refuge at the fastfood stands. Racing played the 2nd half against 10 opponents after an early red card, but created extremely little. Wonderful to see the 50-year old woman in the neighbourging seat screaming concha tu madre, at their own players! True passion, which evidently the players lacked as Newell's gained a deserved win.

After the match it was time to get the hell out of Dodge and make a run for the safe haven of the taxis. First time I have actually felt unsecure in an Argentinian stadium, but then again it was as a result of being associated with unwise, if passionate, cheering for an away team!