Every Sunday, the working class barrio of Mataderos puts on a local folk market called the Feria de Mataderos.
It’s a real treat to visit. I love the San Telmo markets in the heart of Buenos Aires, but the Feria de Mataderos is so much more colourful and authentic.
To get to Mataderos, it takes an hour and a half by train, and then by bus – so it is a bit of a mission to get to! But it was definitely worth the journey and I had lots of fun with a great group of friends. (Many thanks to Clementine for organising the day for everybody!)
It was the perfect day for the markets. The winter air was fresh and crisp, and the sun was shining down on the open air markets.
We delved straight in to the stalls to discover handmade crafts, local souvenirs and gaucho (Argentine cowboy) supplies.
Of course, there are still a few tourist traps around like horseback rides and alpaca photos.
But we didn’t fall for any of that! In fact, we were most interested in the food.
The merchants at the markets serve all sorts of regional cuisine like locro (a corn and meat stew), humita (a savoury corn and cheese mixture wrapped in husks), empanadas (pastries with meat, cheese and vegetables), and as much barbecued meat as you can imagine.
You simply can’t leave Argentina without trying a choripan.
It’s a barbecued chorizo sausage slapped onto a toasted bread roll. The fatter and juicier the chorizo is – the better! Load her up with a dollop of chimichurri salsa and you’re good to go.
(That’s Leslie’s face for ‘yum!’)
But don’t fill yourself up all at once. There is so much good food to try here.
Salami and cheeses.
Artesian sweets and desserts.
And the best invention that ever came from Argentina – dulce de leche.
Care for a super pancake with dulce de leche? Well, you don’t have to ask me twice!
Raphael and me with our ‘panqueques’. It seems that the dulce de leche has glued our mouths closed…
But what makes the Feria de Mataderos extra special is the dancing.
It’s no secret that Latinos are born with rhythm in their feet and this is the best place to watch folks get their groove on.
The whole community gets stuck into it – young children dance together with grandparents and everybody knows the moves to these folk dances.
Don’t forget to wear your best gaucho costume.
And bring your handkerchief!
The Europeans and I left the feria wishing we could dance half as good as the Latinos do.
Admitting defeat, we returned the city to drink beer and watch the World Cup in front of our TV instead.