If you manage to find some time in between all the steak eating and wine drinking whilst in Argentina, make sure you stock up on some souvenirs to ensure that the couple of extra pounds in weight is not all you bring back with you! Known as un recuerdo in Spanish, Argentina has a wealth of souvenirs to offer, some more worthwhile than others, so let our guide help you through the souvenir maze…
After spending a few days in Argentina you are bound to have noticed the mysterious straw that everyone keeps sipping from whilst clutching a Grecian style gourd in the other hand. Now although it may look like they are all getting their hit of whisky on the sly, they are actually drinking Mate. It is prepared from steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water, which are then shared around amongst friends, germs not included, and the water is topped up from the thermal flask. There are all kinds of etiquette that comes with drinking mate, so make sure you brush up before proposing a toast with new friends!
Dulce de Leche
Although its origin is much debated, the Argentines should (by rates of consumption) be declared The Creators of Dulce de Leche. For those of you fortunate enough to not have a sweet tooth, you will find it hard to escape, but for those of us not quite so fortunate… who cares, you’re on holiday! If you go into any bakery in Buenos Aires, you will find line after line of delicious treats that are stuffed so full with dulce de leche that it’s spilling over the sides – The one thing you’ll never feel in Argentina is short-changed.
If you want a souvenir that will last longer than your holiday tan then invest in some leather while in Argentina. The quality is much better than what you will find at home and for half the price. If you can’t see what you like in the shop, then Dehouche know the places that will take your vague musing and fashion it to perfection. The best place to head for leather shopping is Calle Murrillo, between the roads of Malabia and Acevedo. Don’t be afraid to crack that leather whip and drive a hard bargain…
There is one place and day to buy antiques in the world that cannot be beaten – San Telmo Feria. Every Sunday the streets around Plaza Dorrego are lined with stalls selling all kinds of antiques. From large wooden wardrobes to small intricate dolls, fabulous iron wrought bird cages as a big as cars to an assortment of nicknacks so randomly wonderful that they truly don’t bear imagining. Although some of these ‘antiques’ won’t be older than your holiday, there are some true gems that can be found if you have the patience to dig around, or just happen to be lucky. Stock up on presents for a year, or maybe even two.
Although originally introduced to the Argentine Pampas by the English, Polo is now a popular National sport, while in the UK it is more commonly played by a niche group of people with double barrelled surnames who bear a striking resemblance to their steed. The Argentine Polo Open Championship is the most important Polo tournament in the world. Every November and December the city becomes flooded with polo lovers as anxious to witness the game as for the champagne fuelled parties that follow. Visiting B.A out of season or lusting to emulate your current hero on the field? Head to one of our favourite polo shops, La Martina or La Dolfina, and kit yourself out in full polo glory. Who-ever said white polo slacks weren’t appropriate for the long-haul flight home?
Argentina’s reputation for great red wine precedes itself and so it would be wrong to come all this way and not go home without at least a bottle or three. Dehouche suggests stopping at Terroir, the Palermo shop of one of our favourite wine merchants Alejandro Audisio. He will be able to recommend just the right wine to impress even the biggest wine snob amongst your friends…and the best part is? He ships worldwide, so you can even stock up when you’re back home.