Plenty more to it than just the beef
When you think of Argentinian food, does anything except topquality steak come to mind?
If you’d like to expand your culinary horizons, head to Pataka in the next six weeks to get an education in food from rugby-playing nations on every continent.
There is much more to Argentinian food than just steak, says Argentinian chef Paula Caporalini, who will be wrapping up Migrating Kitchens on September 24.
The Buenos Aires native will offer the Pataka crowds grilled meat, empanadas ( savoury pastries), and alfajores (caramel pastry sandwiches).
‘‘I didn’t want to be so cliched so I did different things,’’ she says.
Lollies and cakes will feature heavily on the day, as Argentinians have very sweet teeth, Ms Caporalini says. ‘‘We’re all about our sweets.’’ Ms Caporalini came to New Zealand in 2006 after a friend raved to her about travelling here. Having spent years travelling the globe, Ms Caporalini was up for the adventure, and arrived on a working holiday visa. She knew nothing about New Zealand, which she says is common for Argentinians.
The differences between New Zealand and Argentina are huge, culturally and socially, she says.
New Zealand is much safer, which is especially important to Ms Caporalini now she has a seven-month-old daughter, Aurelia, with her German husband Robert.
Attitudes to food is another difference – it is much more of a family affair in Argentina than here in the land of the 10-minute sandwich lunch.
‘‘That’s not food, that’s a snack,’’ Ms Caporalini says.
Kiwis can get a daily dose of Argentinian food at Ms Caporalini’s Cuba St restaurant, the Buenos Aires Tango Bistro.
‘‘It’s a family place, very small and simple,’’ she says. ‘‘Everything is home-made and handmade every day.’’
Despite her daily immersion into Argentinian culture through her restaurant, Ms Caporalini says being migrant can be tough.
‘‘When you’re travelling your heart is always in the middle.’’
Cliche buster: Argentinian immigrant Paula Caporalini is keen to share lesswell known dishes with Kiwis at Pataka’s Migrating Kitchens exhibition, such as these spinach and cheese empanadas.