Pizza, a foodstuff which is still of some heated debate between myself and my Argentine acquaintances, is only equalled in popularity by empanadas here in Buenos Aires. Served in a variety of forms, baked, fried, doughy, flaky, they are liable to be a solid and dependable option. The most common flavours are generously seasoned mincemeat (meaning salty, usually not a sign of pepper or herbs) or sliced ham with oozy cheese. I recently discovered a gourmet empanadería on the block where I live and I am not sure whether to be overjoyed or deeply concerned by the convenience of a place that sells empanadas stuffed with mozzarella, pancetta and plum or parmesan, rocket and walnuts at four and a half pesos (70p) a piece.
I call Don David one afternoon to order a couple of their dough-enveloped delicacies. When they ask for my address I am embarrassed to confess that I allow them to deliver to our apartment building, a total of about thirty metres from where they are located. Here in Argentina this is not an issue, the only country I am aware of that offers delivery at McDonald's, I am clearly not committing a faux pas, but this does not stop me from feeling like an empanada-scoffing sloven. I send my housemate down to open the door and pay for our purchases, thereby hoping to delegate my shame.
Endearingly wrapped in patterned brown paper and string, the warm parcel of anticipation is delivered. The tuna empanada is tomato-filled and flavoursome, the mozzarella, pancetta and plum one is seeping fruit and pancetta juices from the very first mouthful; a touch too sweet, it is still very moreish. Yep, I am leaning towards being deeply concerned by this absurdly convenient discovery.