Restaurants in Bariloche, Argentina: Gastronomy & Typical Cuisine
In addition to its awe-inspiring landscape, San Carlos de Bariloche has a strong agricultural industry based mainly around algae, clams, salmon and trout from the nearby lakes and rivers. Mushrooms, berries from the forests, and all types of game, are also very common ingredients in the traditional local cuisine. The fact is that the extensive variety of Patagonian flora and fauna guarantees the availability and freshness of these basic ingredients, used to make the countless traditional dishes. Because these products are readily available during the spring and summer seasons, many of them are brined or smoked to preserve them, so that they can also be enjoyed during the wintertime as well.
The local cuisine of Bariloche is a blend of the traditional cooking styles, developed by the indigenous people, who inhabited the area long ago, coupled with the cuisines brought by the immigrants from Central Europe who settled here afterwards. You can also find many restaurants serving all sorts of interesting fare, including Japanese, Mexican, French, Italian, vegetarian, and even organic food.
One of the most traditional dishes in Bariloche is called "curanto". This is a Mapuche Indian dish with European influences. It is made with different kinds of clams, oysters, mussels, chicken, smoked pork, sausage, potatoes, and patties made of potato and flour, called milcaos and chapapeles. It is traditionally cooked in a five foot deep open pit in the ground known as a "curanto de hoyo.
First, they line the pit with rocks. Then, they build a fire and when the rocks are red hot, they put in the pot filled with all the ingredients. They season and cover all the ingredients with grapevines or cabbage leaves, which acts as a lid. After that, they shovel dirt on top and put firewood and wet sacks over everything, creating a pressure cooker-like effect. Finally, they cook the curanto for an hour or a little longer. The result is a very tasty dish that you can accompany with bread and a nice glass of white wine.
Patagonian cuisine has evolved considerably over the last few decades. Previously considered commonplace and unimportant, the more traditional ingredients and ways of cooking have regained popularity leading to the creation of original and imaginative dishes made with venison, rabbit, wild boar, as well as salmon and trout. In Bariloche, you can try a fantastic selection of delicious local specialties, such as trout in almond sauce, venison steak, wild boar in black butter, venison or lamb empanadas, wild boar in leek sauce and free-range rabbit loin and thighs, just to name a few.
The smoking of meats and fish is one of the oldest ways of preserving certain foods. In Bariloche, there are excellent smoked meats and fish, such as trout, salmon, wild boar and venison, as well as a variety of cheeses. Many restaurants include a selection of smoked meats on their menus, which are usually served on a platter and accompanied by a glass of white wine, vodka or beer.
Craft beer has become quite popular in many cities over the last few years, but in Bariloche it is a tradition that originally started with the arrival of immigrants mainly from Germany. There are a number of craft breweries, also known as microbreweries that produce several kinds of beer made with different grains, such as barley, malt and hops. Some of these breweries, like Cerveceria Antares, located in downtown Bariloche, also feature a restaurant or pub for people to dine while tasting the different kinds of beer that they produce.
Although fondue is originally from Europe, it was brought to Argentina a long time ago and is now deeply-rooted in the local cuisine. In Bariloche, you can easily find the classic fondue made with cheese, white wine, and Kirsch (a typical Austrian liqueur) or another one made with tender loin fried in a fragrant garlic and herb-scented oil and served with a selection of dressings. You must also try the chocolate fondue, which is served with various fruits and eaten for dessert.
Chocolate and Confectionery
Chocolate is the most traditional dessert in Bariloche. The city is famous for this sweet treat and you''ll find chocolate shops selling all sorts of confectionery and regional ice creams. There is a great selection of chocolate on offer here, including white, dark and milk. Bariloche is the birthplace of the first chocolate shop in the country and the famous "chocolate en rama" (chocolate tree trunk). It was invented by mistake when a confectioner, by the name of Fenogli, was making chocolate one day. He accidentally dripped some of it on a marble slab and scraped it off with a spatula, thus forming tree trunk-like shapes which were an immediate success with his clients. You can''t leave this wonderful destination without trying at least one of the many varieties of chocolate that they make here, including chocolates filled with candy, mousse, caramel and all types of nuts.
You can also find traditional candies made with rosehip or musk roses, as well as with other local fruits and plants, such as elderberries, jostaberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, and raspberries.
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