Monday, June 29, 2009

Last Minute Cordobesa Discoveries--Read with Caution if You are a Vegetarian!

As Nick and I pack up the Cordoba chapter of our Argentina journey, we are enearthing the most delicious surprises of the city. Among these discoveries is the Mercado Norte, the warehouse of stalls and vendors offering Argentine goodies from spicy Colorado sausage to cheeses fresh from the campo. Today we went and wandered the halls, looking in the butchers' windows and seeing every kind of meat you could imagine--from the normal cuts to pieces you can't believe are edible, including cow brains! Check them out:

We saw whole (deceased) goats hanging from meat hooks, and the same goes for some poor little piggies (sorry to the vegetarians who are reading this!). We saw rabbit sausage, tripe, liver, and mountains of fish fresh from the river. Spice merchants sold packets of powder for everything from paella to goulasch. A coffee and tea shop sold dried fruits and vegetables...And fruit loops, randomly! We walked and snapped photos of every vendor, feeling shy when the butchers caught us stealing a photo when they were going about their business. But they didn't seem to mind--they just smiled before the flash came. We left the market with fresh cilantro, ginger, and cherry tomatoes...And (again, sorry to you peaceful vegetarians) a leg of lamb, because we are making a feast tonight for Ale & Maria, our amazing hosts for the past two months. Buen provecho !

Another amazing discovery we have come across is a small circle of wonderful friends. We didn't expect to meet many people in Cordoba; working from home doesn't afford many opportunities to meet people. But, we were happy & thankful because we were living with a sweet family that we ate dinner with every night, and we were also lucky enough to have a couple of visitors--some friends from Buenos Aires and my parents! But the unexpected blessing happened, and we did end up meeting some very nice people that we will really miss. It is such a small world, but one of the volunteers who went to the Enchanting Challenge-owned farm in Chile actually lives in Cordoba. When he returned from the farm, he contacted Nick, and we met up with him and his lovely girlfriend. They turned out to be so incredibly nice, and they introduced us to some of their other friends. For the past two weeks we have been spending time with these new-found friends, and really enjoying every second of it. They have introduced us to some lovely Cordobesa festivities, such as the Paseo de los Artes, a quaint arts and crafts fair in a quite bohemian-esque neighborhood that hosts artists selling their hand-made wares. It's so much fun to wander through and take in their work--and its especially fun when the vendors are selling edible goods, such as the delicious manzana torta and vanilla cake that I can't resist!

We are really thankful for our time here in Cordoba. It has given us such good moments, and we will really cherish these memories...

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