Argentina with Francesca, AIDE Abroad’s Executive Director
Before I studied abroad in Argentina, I anticipated consuming lots of steak and wine, two items for which the country is world renowned. I even knew about alfajores, a traditional dulce de leche sandwich cookie confection, but thought they were a bit sweet. I never imagined I would be torn between French and Argentine pastries!
It wasn’t long after I arrived, when my group made the 24-hour bus trip from Buenos Aires to San Martin de los Andes in Patagonia, that I came to discover the medialuna. After being cramped in a bus for most of the previous day and overnight, we stopped for an early breakfast in the foothills of the Andes. Breakfast was simple: strong, steaming coffee served in metal pots, and heavenly half-moon shaped pastries known as “medialunas”. They were fresh, still warm, and light. I wondered, out loud, how many people eat. One? It didn’t seem enough. Two? Was that too many? My Resident Director knew! “Most people eat one,” he told me, “but “los gordos” eat two.” Despite the warning, I soon ate two, and spent the rest of my time in Argentina sampling a wide range of medialunas and other facturas. Who knew a country so famous for its beef and wine could also compete with their divine pastries?
I have managed to find spots in the US that specialize in facturas argentinas. When lived in Miami, I frequented the Buenos Aires Bakery and Café, and here in Austin the Buenos Aires Café also offers a selection of facturas that can cure any cravings.
Factura is the generic name given to a delicious collection of Argentinean sweet pastries. Some of these facturas are of European origin. Facturas come in different shapes and with a wide variety of fillings.
Facturas are generally eaten for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack between 17:00 and 20:00, but are not considered a dessert.