Saturday, June 26, 2010

cool blog to recommend

Met a couple in Mendoza a few weeks ago, Lisa and Tony. Check out their post on Wine Camp. And now I really need to see the salt flats.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ghost town

walking to work today at my normal hour (10), I was stunned -- the streets were empty. ghost town empty. where were the meandering abuelas that I usually have to dodge, the cars (that I also have to dodge), the other people walking to work? Is today a holiday I didn't remember? Then I hear a roar coming from a bar and I remember -- Argentina is playing Korea this morning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

try this, you'll hate it

That's what a friend said to me my first night in mendoza, handing me a fernet con coca. he was right - it was awful.

The SF Weekly, reporting on its popularity with hipsters, had it right.

When you hold a shot glass of Fernet-Branca to your nose, the first thing that strikes you is the physicality of the smell, which, if such a thing existed, is like black licorice-flavored Listerine. Put it to your lips and tip it back, and the assault on the throat and sinuses is aggressively medicinal. For many so-called "Fergins" uninitiated to the drink, it can be accompanied by a feeling that may either bring a tear to the eye or lunch to the esophagus. As a bitter Italian aperitif of more than 40 herbs and spices, it most often gets compared to Campari and Jägermeister, though by measure of accuracy, it's equally similar to Robitussin or Pennzoil.

6 weeks later, I have a bottle in my fridge. Wiki says:

Highly popular in Argentina, it is often taken as a national beverage. The production in this country is around 20 million litres, 35% sold in Buenos Aires province and Federal District and 30% in Córdoba province (with a population of 3 million people). Although originally fernet was mainly served with water or soda, now (since late eighties) the most common preparation is with Coca-Cola: A tall glass with several ice cubes is filled about 1/10 full with Fernet and then Coke is slowly added.

And it's true. They drink it a lot here. And, I suppose, now, so do I. You want to order it, "para preparar," that is, a tall glass filled near the top with fernet and ice, another glass with only ice, and a bottle of coke (if you're lucky it's a glass bottle of real coke).

And because of the exchange rate, you can buy a lot of it, cheap!