Since we mostly eat in panaderias (=bakeries) when eating “out”, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the foods that I discovered after Brazil, are all from there. In fact, an Uruguayan or an Argentine bakery is a treasure box for the hungry! Same as with other customs, the pastries you’ll find in an Uruguayan and in an Argentine bakery are quite similar to each other. No more talking, here comes the list.

The best pastries an Uruguayan and an Argentine bakery can offer you

Dulce de leche

It’s a heavenly Nutella-style spread that sticks in all parts of food life in Argentina-Uruguay: breakfasters spread it thickly on bread, bakers fill gorgeous pastries with it and the absolute fans spoon it from the container and drink it as a liqueur. It’s made of caramelised sugar and milk of condensed milk in other reciepes. Despite its simplicity, there are various types of dulce de leche depending on the milk (eg. cow, sheep) and sugar used. It’s so popular that in Buenos Aires we saw (and visited) 2 La Casa  del Dulce de Leche. If you are interested to make your own, check out these recipes.

Alfajor

A chocolate-like sweet that looks like a sandwich – hard pastry filled with dulce de leche, traditionally. There are various types: the pastry can be soft and crumbling, or hard and crunchy. My favourite is made with honey (alfajor de miel) which gives a soft but not crumbling texture to it. Some of them are covered with dark or white chocolate, nuts or coconut. Apart from bakeries, kioskos sell them as well – from the many brands out there our absolute favourite is Cachafaz. A wonderful alternative to a chocolate bar!

Traditional Argentine alfajor of cornstarch
Alfajor with traditional, cornstarch dough which is soft and crumbling

Conito de dulce de leche

It’s basically an alfajor in a more fun shape. We encountered it in Montevideo and it became straight away our new favourite. Who wouldn’t like to eat this cute little hat off?!

Conito de dulce de leche in Uruguay
The favourite conito de dulce de leche

Empanada

A savoury pastry filled with various kinds and formed into various shapes. The most traditional fillings are meaty, but our favourite vegetarians are caprese (cheese and tomato), roquefort (blue cheese) and humita (corn and cheese). The vegetarian types are obviously not as widely available as their meaty counterparts; but the most popular vegetarian one is verduras, although it’s only acelga (chard) with cheese. I didn’t like it much. Empanadas are our ultimate dinner food in the city, since they are cheap and hearty!

Argentine empanadas in various shapes
50 shapes of empanadas

Chipa

This is a small yuca (cassava) flour ball filled with cheese. The recipe is famous all around South America, and it comes in different shapes and names: pão de queijo (Brazil), cuñapé (Bolivia), pan de yuca (Colombia and Ecuador). It’s a good vegetarian snack, widely available in panaderias.

Are you a foodie? Read our other foodie guides from other parts of South America!

Bolivian street food
Fruits of Peru
All about yerba mate

Have you ever eaten one of these snacks? Do they remind you of one from another country? Share your story with us in the comments!


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Who am I?

Anna is a world citizen, an avid traveller, a passionate environmentalist and a digital nomad. Writing about her year backpacking through South America, she tries to encourage everyone to discover this beautiful continent as a traveller or a digital nomad and pass on her love for responsible travel.

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3 Comments

  1. Ho!!!!! tu m´a fait saliver avec ces différents types de dulce de leche …..En France c´´est aussi une specialite dans les Alpes ……….
    par contre lorsque tu nous apprends que le mouton fait du lait…. est-ce une specialite des moutons d´Amérique Latine???
    …….en fonction du lait (par exemple, de la vache, du mouton)…..

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! We definitely have a sweet tooth with yummy-looking sweets I’m afraid 😀 Nevertheless, finding new (vegetarian) food is one of the best part in travelling, isn’t it?

      Hope to see you soon on Green Mochila!

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