“Shop till you pop” was my motto on Sunday.

I spent about half of my day wandering and stuffing my face in the Feria MASTICAR. Masticar literally means, “to chew” and I certainly chewed my way through the fair.

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This was the fair’s second year in Buenos Aires and last year there were over 110,000 visitors. The objective of the festival is this: poner en valor la gastronomía argentina y ayudar a que el público tome conciencia del valor de los productos frescos de estación y de la comida casera. Or in English terms: to place value in Argentina gastronomy and create public awareness of the value of fresh, seasonal products and homemade food. Basically a food-lover’s Mecca.

I went with my roommate whose first mission was to find healthy food. We quickly came across a market stand called Müller & Wolf. They sold dressings that not only looked delicious but also just beautiful. You could tell they were thoughtfully crafted. They also sold the cutest little salads for only 10 pesos (or about one USD), which allowed you to try their tasty dressings. We both opted for the Cassis dressing, which had a fruity, vinaigrette-like taste. I absolutely would have bought it if I hadn’t been on such a tight budget.

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As we walked through the stalls we picked up samples of meat, cheese, cookies, fruit, and more. We came across a stall selling apples and pears, called Lamburda. Unfortunately we had come to the fair on it’s final day so they were sold out of the more popular strains of fruit, but we still bought some delicious pears. Pears bought on the street or in markets here tend to be over ripe. But these pears are still turning ripe and taste amazing.

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We made our way over to the prepared food stands, where chefs whipped up fancy sandwiches, gourmet eggs, and artisanal pasta. We waited in line for ceviche at La Mar Cebichería Peruana, and while my roommate soon grew impatient and gave up her spot, I was determined to experience my first ceviche. And oh, was it worth the wait!

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Patricia, if you’re reading this, I have finally tried ceviche, as you recommended, and I am officially obsessed!

Next, my roommate decided to wait in line at the popular Mooi stall and got a wrap with salmon with veggies in soy sauce. Portions were small at all of these stands so sharing wasn’t really possible, no matter how generous the person. But I was satisfied with just looking at it.

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As we walked I had spotted a few plates with oyster shells. Determined, I found the stall, Crizia, and waited for my turn. I got simple oysters with lemon and vinegar and was actually pretty disappointed. I’ll never turn down oysters but they weren’t anything special. I also would have killed for some horseradish.

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We continued our wandering, passing delicious food, yummy drinks, and even cooking classes.

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We stopped at a juice truck and my roommate got a kiwi, lime and soy juice.

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Feeling tired, she left. But I just could not bring myself to leave just yet. I got more tickets and got una arepa con pollo en BBQ de guayaba y piña picante from I Latina. An “arepa” is like a corn bun and looks somewhat like a pizza crust. Basically it was a pizza with guava BBQ chicken and spicy pineapple with pickles and sprouts on top. It was probably my second favorite food of the day (after the ceviche).

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It paired perfectly with my Patagonia Weiss beer (the best, widely-sold beer in Buenos Aires).

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With my roommate gone and no one to chaperone me or make me feel guilty, I went a little nuts. Next, I got the best ice cream I have had so far in Buenos Aires from la Compañía de Chocolates. The most amazing chocolate and blackberry ice creams. I may have eaten it way too fast.

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Then I wandered across hot dogs and obviously got one of those too. El Pancho MASTICAR 2015 from Austria.

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Luckily, I began to run out of tickets and had to start window-shopping.

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I bought a few more things to take home, like amazing goat cheese with oregano from Wapi (not spreadable like in the States though), sat down to rest my legs, and then made my final purchase. A delicious Bacardi Punch from El Bar by Gran Bar Danzon.

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A tasty end to a delicious day.

What is the best food fair/festival you have been to?

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