As I mentioned previously, Northwest Argentina is not really like the rest of Argentina in many ways – and this includes the food, where there is an influence from neighbouring Bolivia and from indigenous people who have always lived in this area.
We found that the food in Jujuy and Salta provinces (the two provinces that we visited in the northwest) was quite different… so… how was it different?
Well, I’m sure that you have already read me banging on about the lack of spicy food in Argentina MANY times 🙂 BUT… the northwest DOES actually like spice in their food – many things that we ate had a bit of spice in them, and we even got spicy sauce with our lunches?! 🙂
People selling food on the street is generally lacking in Argentina compared to other South American countries, but up in the northwest they seem to make an exception.
In Jujuy province, everywhere that we went they were cooking what they called ‘Tortilla rellenada’ (basically tortilla bread stuffed with cheese and/or ham). ‘Tortilla rellenada’ is a pretty generic term – and so it seems to mean something different everywhere you go. In this case, they cooked it in the street on charcoal barbecues made out of tin drums – mmmm – they were delicious 🙂
You’ve already heard me complain about how rubbish empandas are in Argentina… BUT let me tell you – NOT IN SALTA! In Salta they are wonderful – they are a speciality of the city of Salta, AND you get a spicy sauce to put on them! 🙂
Some other things
There were a few other ‘regional specialities’ that we found – the first one I like to call ’round bread with a hole in the middle’. This was available everywhere, but whenever we asked what is was called they just kept saying ‘bread’ – it’s just ‘bread’, ‘it doesn’t have a name’… yeah, well I bet it does, but they wouldn’t tell us… and neither will google as we can’t work out what it is called… maybe it is just ‘bread’…
Another thing that we found all over Salta were ’empanadillas con dulce de cayote’ – ‘cayote‘ is not to be confused with ‘coyote’ – one looks like a wolf, but the other is a tasty filling for a sweet empanada. It has a LOT of different names in English – one of them is ‘black seed squash’.
They always covered them in icing-sugar and they were quite addictive.
This part of Argentina was definitely our favourite as far as food went….:-)