My Travel Memories Taste Like Sugar: Argentina

Food is memory. My  memories of places are informed by the taste of the sweet things I ate there.

Chocolate in Argentina

First there was Bariloche. We crossed the border from Chile here; it was our very first stop in Argentina. There was a street called the Street of Chocolate Dreams; a chocolate department store; a chocolate cafe with giant Russian dolls in the window; a forest-themed chocolate restaurant/factory…there was a lot of chocolate. By the final cafe we all said we were sick and tired of it all; we never wanted chocolate again.

Then there was Buneos Aires where the women were almost all whippet-thin, but cortados were always served with a glass of water and either a bite of chocolate or a small medialuna on the side. I later read in Bad Times in Buneos Aires that, amongst well-heeled Porteñas, the chocolate serving was a test: you were supposed to make a show of being  able to resist it.

When I think back to Buenos Aires I can see a picture of myself in El Ateneo Gran Spendid. Sitting at a small table on what used to be the stage in the theater-turned-bookstore sipping a cortado and not even trying to resist the delicately wrapped square of dark chocolate on the saucer.

Chocolaterie Pierre, Tallinn

Chocolaterie Pierre

In Estonia I am eating the most chocolate since, I think, those few days in Bariloche, Argentina.

Velvet sofas, red silk tablecloths, thick coffee and rich, dark chocolate: Chocolaterie Pierre has been the best chocolate experience of my trip. It is hidden away down a side alley in the Old Town, but still is almost always busy, though never too busy. I preferred to take a seat in the cozy, dimly lit, bohemian-styled cafe, where but there is also summer seating in the courtyard.

The hot chocolate is a thick, gooey dream of cream, rum and melted chocolate. Hot chocolate will never taste the same after trying it here.

Pierre shares owners with Josephine café just down the street.