It was my first day in Buenos Aires. I plopped my bag down at the hostel and hit the streets. To explore the city for the first time–but more immediately to get me an empanada!
I was starving and had heard that Argentina has some great empanadas. Most people know Argentina for it’s beef –for it’s wine, but Argentina is also famous for it’s pizza and it’s empanadas.
This video’s about empanadas of course, so I won’t get too deep into the pizza. But eating a piece of pizza in the downtown area of Buenos Aires is a cultural experience. You just walk in, order what you want, usually with a coke or a beer (75% will be drinking beer) and then you stand at a high top table (no chairs) eat your pizza with a fork and knife and leave…
But it’s usually packed–totally jammed. Putting in an order, finding a spot to eat, you go at the “right time” and thats nearly impossible. That’s why I call it a cultural experience…and it’s pretty good pizza too, depending on where you go–it’s a thicker, pizza. It’s good. Just shut up and try it.
Now this is an empanada… it’s like a little meat pie basically. In fact, it’s often referred to as a meat pie in Jamaica, and lots of other Caribbean islands. And strangely, also in Australia where it’s very popular as well.
So I go for my walk and right of the bat, I see a bunch of empanadas in a little hole in the wall. So I kinda nervously went in. You never know how this is gonna go, I hadn’t spoken Spanish in close to 10 years at that point.
I went in and I looked everything over. They all looked so good–and there were so many of them. There was at least a dozen different kinds with little signs saying what each one was.
They had ham, ham and cheese, just cheese, tuna, fried, baked–tons of different stuff. They all looked amazing to me, but there was one in particular that got my attention–both because I hadn’t seen the word before and because of what I THOUGHT the word was.
It just said “choclo”. So I asked the guy, “Choclo es chocolate?” “Choclo is chocolate?” –I was thinking Choclo was just an abbreviation for Chocolate.
And he answered YES!
Wow, a chocolate empanada! I’ve never had a chocolate empanada before. In fact, I’ve dreamed of chocolate empanadas and even tried to make them at home several times, but they never came out how I wanted.
So I was very excited about this chocolate empanada, but… this wasn’t the right moment. I hadn’t eaten in 12 hours and I needed some real food. And I didn’t want to eat too much, because I wanted to explore Buenos Aires.
That [probably] delicious chocolate empanada would have to wait. So I got a couple normal empanadas–probably with a lot of ham and cheese in them–wolfed them down and went on my way.
And man, were they good. And I don’t say that about all empanadas or meat pies, I’m a bit of an empanada snob, in fact.
[scene in tux, this is crap throw it away] crap, crap, oh, this is good, i like the oaky taste. strong toxins.
But I had empanadas in Buenos Aires probably 12 times, and I can honestly say they’re some of the best I ever had.
And I wasn’t afraid to let other people know that. In fact, a couple days later, I was just chilling in the hostel, talking to some travelers and somehow empanadas came up.
Oh my god, have you tried the empanadas? They’re great! Some of the best I’ve ever had. They even have chocolate empanadas, I told them. I haven’t had one yet, I need to get back there, but they even have chocolate empanadas.
A couple days later. Same thing. Different people of course =) Oh my god have you tried the empanadas? They are delicious here. Some of the best I’ve ever had. They even have chocolate ones. I haven’t had it yet, but man, I really need to get one of those.
So finally… the day before I was scheduled to leave Buenos Aires. I’m with a nice group, there was boy Andy, girl Andi, Joakim from Sweden and Rav from the UK.
We’re walking around, I was probably talking about the now famous chocolate empanadas (nobody seemed to be as excited as I was) and we decided to get some empanadas for lunch then head to the nearby park to eat them in a pleasant atmosphere.
And that’s exactly what we did. I got two savory empanadas, and then got a third empanada. The chocolate empanada. I was leaving tomorrow. It was now or never.
We get to the park, I stick my hand in the bag, and pull out the first empanada. I obviously wanted to save the chocolate one for last. So I broke off the corner , or bit it off, I don’t remember. And saw right away, it had some cheese or ham, a little grease–so I knew I was good.
I devoured that first empanada and again stuck my hand in the bag, hoping to pull out the last non-chocolate empanada. I broke off the corner or bit it off and again, a little bit of cheese, grease–man I’m good.
I finished the second empanada, but this time I didn’t have to check anything. There was only one empanada left in the bag. The laws of physics tell me it has to be the chocolate one.
I take that empanada out of the bag, it’s still warm, this is gonna be good. I lift it up to my face, I open my mouth, I stick that empanada in my mouth…and grease, and cheese, and CORN goes shooting into every direction of my mouth.
It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t chocolate.
So I announce my dismay to my friends and one of them calls me an idiot and laughs. CHOCLO doesn’t mean Chocolate.
Choclo means corn. It turns out that choclo, along with humita are both words, that in Argetina, mean corn.
So if you’re in Buenos Aires, and you’re craving a nice, golden-fried chocolate empanada…get over it.
If you liked this post/video, press the like button.