We take breaks between steaks with vegetarian organic options. There are some here and we need to stop tearing into cows and guinea pigs. They must have an amazing resident baker at Artemisia because that bread table and our plates look pretty and smell like heaven. Davidson and I share a provoleta-inspired polenta app (last pic) which is beyond tasty, and I love my croquititas—moist quinoa and breadcrumb puffs. I’m adding a pic of a lentil burger from two days after. So delicious with a sesame roll, tomato confit and gruyere. Love.
Some dudes take our seats and won’t get up. Apparently, that happens in Buenos Aires a lot so it’s not a big deal. We just take some other seats. Halfway through the game, a fight breaks out in another section. Seems like a lot of guys are punching one dude. Looks like a giant wave. It’s over in about five minutes and we return to watching Argentina trouncing Canada.
One can tire of top notch steaks. It is entirely possible after almost four months. Davidson and I take a break from carne and duck into Bio, an organic vegetarian joint. The pizza is amazing. They use real cheese, and everything is delicious.
As Buenos Aires geared up to celebrate the Bicentinario (200 years of independence), we were excited to see some street productions. We heard some kids were going to do a song and dance about the country’s history, and were shocked to see about a quarter of all the children donning blackface and dressed in plantation rags. ¿Que pasó?
Aside from tourists and recent immigration from Africa, Porteños have had little or no experience with actual black people. So I guess no one told them that blackface might be more than a little insensitive. This explanation isn’t exactly satisfying, but I think it’s plausible. So what happened to the Africans who were here initially? Slavery was abolished in 1840, and the freed black men were enlisted to fight a 15-year-war with Paraguay in 1865. These men were in the front lines, and killed in battle. Also, there was a yellow fever epidemic in 1871 that wiped out the rest of the population. The rich upper class left the area, but the poorer Italian, Spanish and African people stayed put and died. After all that, there were still Afro-Argentine women and children left. They inter-married with the Europeans, so there might be Argentines with African blood who don’t even know it.
A complicated history for sure. But I don’t think they were in costume to mock or deride. It seemed like this generation genuinely wanted to pay homage to the people who were here before, but their cultural sensitivity is low from having a relatively monolithic population. Clueless and well-meaning? That’s probably it.
This doggie is lovely and she knows it. She uses sad eyes on Kristin, Piper, Davidson and I while we all have great grub at Las Cabras—which might be my favourite restaurant in Buenos Aires. Lucy gets all kindsa scraps with that face, including my juicy bife de chorizo (sirloin steak). She can’t get her paws on the provoleta though, it’s too good and I have to have every morsel. In fact, I insist everyone should eat provoleta immediately upon arrival in Buenos Aires.
Kristin visits from NYC, and we happily meet up. Piper and Lucy come too. The lemon tart at Magendie Ciencias Naturales is particularly scrumptious, but their cupcakes are really muffins with facelifts. They’re kinda healthy there, so we don’t hold that against them.