“Craving a steak. Meat smells so good on the neighbor’s grill.
Our little farmer’s market does not have meats. It does have two cheese/salami trucks and two fish/seafood trucks. Most cheeses I don’t recognize. Cheese lady can’t understand me saying “mozzarella;” how many ways can you say that word?
Will definitely need to learn to cook squid. Bought some white fish. Everything on ice, so I assume it’s fresh.
Dropped off our stuff from the farmer’s market, went looking for meat.”
First, cheese is plentiful in Uruguay, but the varieties are different from home. The nearby town of Colonia is the known for their cheeses. A quick meal: cheese, a bottle of Tannat (the local wine), and a loaf of artisanal bread. Bread stores, panaderias, are abundant here.
In Piriapolis, a van filled with fresh bread cruised by our house daily. Wicked! Add to this, pastries made with Dulce de Leche. Dulche de Leche is similar to caramel. It was hard to find a pastry that was not filled with this yummy stuff. They even add Dulce de Leche to Flan: sweet on sweet. You will find Dulce de Leche sold in quantity throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America.
The fish truck was loaded with everything that come out of the water. I had never cooked mussels, squid, or octopus, but I vowed to learn. I did not recognize ANY of the fish names, so we watched what was most popular with other shoppers and bought the same. All the fish was good. In some ways, fish is fish: it all tastes good as long as it is very fresh.
Along the streets, you find other specialty food stores. Due to a strong Italian influence, you will find pasta & pizza everywhere and it is inexpensive and delicious. To buy meat or chicken, you want to go to a “carniceria” or “polleria.”
Buying meat was not easy. Many of the cuts have unusual names. To make it worse, the entire carcass is cut up differently. We met a helpful butcher who patiently helped us figure out what to buy. I will tell you right now, you will never have a better piece of meat than what you get in South America. It is healthy, grass fed, and high in Omega 3’s. (An agreement was just reached to ship Argentine beef to the US.) Beef, pork, chicken, and lamb are inexpensive compared to the US. The chicken is free-range and abundant.
I have to mention eggs. The majority of the eggs are brown. The yolks are a bright yellow. Eggs are sold in mom and pop stores, super markets, farmer’s markets, meat markets, and produce markets. In all places, they are unrefrigerated. Since they are not pasteurized like in the US, they do not need to be kept cold. You often go home with 6 carefully wrapped in newspaper. Be prepared: most of them have a least a little birdy poop on them.