The Story of an American Girl's First Encounter with Alfajores

No se imaginan la cantidad de gente que llega a este blog de países de habla no hispana buscando "what is an alfajor?". Gracias a la magia del contador de visitas puedo saber esta información, así como ver cuántos han traducido a varios idiomas (al inglés principalmente) muchas de las reviews de este blog. No se pueden imaginar lo divertido que es leer algo que uno escribió lleno de lunfardos y regionalismos a través del traductor de Google.

Es por eso que decidí pedirle a Kristin, una norteamericana que conocí hace un año y medio mientras estudiaba en Buenos Aires, que me escriba (en inglés) sobre la impresión que se llevó de los alfajores argentinos, los cuales les hice conocer ni bien tuve la oportunidad y a la cual le regalé una buena cantidad de diversas marcas de redondeles alfajorísticos al volver a su país. Siempre quise tener la visión de algún extranjero, para tener una visión menos parcial y distante sobre nuestra golosina favorita, es por eso que a continuación les dejo lo que ella me envió, pido perdón a los que no saben inglés pero la verdad es que traducirlo me llevaría mucho tiempo y además perdería la gracia. Sorry guys!



For all the non spanish speaking people who come to this blog searching information about alfajores, this is an entry in english written by my american friend Kristin. In her short stay in Buenos Aires I introduced her to the magic of alfajores, one specialities of argentinian gastronomy, which unfortunately are not very well-known overseas. I ask her to write something about them, because I'm sure she will has a less parcial point of view, so here is her story....


The Story of an American Girl's First Encounter with Alfajores

Alfajores. Amazing... I first met and fell in love with alfajores when I was in Buenos Aires at the beginning of 2009-- so that makes my love-affair with alfajores about 1.5 years old today! Of course, there have been ups and downs in the relationship, and right now, the relationship is predominantly long-distance-- which is difficult, of course. But, like they say, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." And, my heart is growing fonder-- by the day! And, there is even the possibility that Alfajores will make the big move from Southern Hemisphere to Northern Hemisphere at some point-- so I continue to hope!... But the beauty of the love-story I have with alfajores, as with all good love-stories, is in the oddities of its beginning.

Havana. Heaven. There must be a cosmic-sign of sorts in the word similarities. As I began to learn about alfajores, I began to realize that they could come in any flavor, any variety and be made by almost anyone. It was a little puzzling to discover a schizophrenic-identity-crisis in my new love, and it made me work a little harder to figure out which side of this new-to-me concoction I would love. Initially, I was delighted and amused that even OREO-- very well known in the US-- made an alfajor. CRAZY. Ultimately, I discovered the alfajor identity (truth is there were more than one!) I liked, and like the typical American tourist, and a love-sick girl, I got clingy and possessive as our time in Buenos Aires drew to an end. The only sensible thing to do was to stuff my luggage (carry-on and checked baggage!) with as many alfajores in as many different flavors/varieties as possible! I used up the last of my Argentine currency buying alfajores at an overpriced airport-shop, before I was forced to say 'good-bye' to the land of my love.


This is an alfajor and yes, is hard to find one in the US (ha ha)

Now the funny thing about being madly in-love is that you are oblivious to how you look to outsiders. This was true in my case. As I left my Buenos Aires apartment, the building doorman (sizing up my overflowing 'Havana' bags) warned me not to eat all those alfajores, or I would be fat. I just thanked him for his advice, and left laughing-- thinking of course I wasn't going to eat these! I was going to save them forever and ever, share them with friends, and I would live happily ever after in alfajor-bliss. Fat? Never. How could such an evil word or thought enter my happy alfajor fantasy world?

Ah, but all good things come to an end. And, upon re-entering the alfajore-free world (also known as the US), I struggled to hold onto the happy alfajor feeling. One of my favorite moments was when I was showing off my new love to my friends back home. One day, I gave Craig, a good friend from school, a Cadbury alfajor. I explained to him about the popularity of alfajores in Argentina and what it was made of and how even OREO had an alfajore. Then, I waited for the expected American laughter at the name. (You see, in English, "alfajor" sounds a lot like the two words: "alpha"--Greek for 'first'-- and "whore"--English for a promiscuous woman). I quickly defended my love and just told him to eat it-- he would understand. Understand, he did. The next time I saw him, he marched straight up to me and asked, rather loudly, "where can I find more of that chocolate-caramel-goodness?" I just laughed and told him he needed to plan a trip to Argentina.

That was kind of a lie, though. But you can't blame me for being protective of my love! Apparently, Havana is opening (or maybe it IS open now) a store in Miami. Unfortunately, it is in the airport, and only accessible after going through security. That means that it will be a true test of love: I will have to buy a plane ticket out of Miami to be able to go to the store. Fortunately, there may be other non-Havana stores in the US, though. That thought makes my love-sick heart a little lighter these days. You see, after 1.5 years, I have given away or eaten all of my alfajor stock-pile. But I take comfort in the thought that alfajores may find me again sometime...

Another friend from school, originally from Perú, is opening an alfajor bakery in North Carolina-- no airports or plane tickets required! (My heart skipped a beat!) Sure, it's not Havana, but to have a real alfajor in North Carolina--home of NASCAR and vinegar BBQ-- THAT is heaven! And nothing short of a miracle.

So, now that I have been back in the US for a while, I could no longer tell you in which neighborhood in Buenos Aires I lived. My Spanish language skills have devolved into "hola" and "gracias." But alfajores?! Unforgettable.

Now, I look forward to reminiscing about my love-- the delectable sweetness-- with anyone else who might know about alfajores. When I meet another American who has been in Argentina, I immediately ask about her preference in alfajores. It's like a secret society-- a code word that only fans of Argentina know. To everyone else, we're just talking about "slutty women."

As much as I love secrecy, codes and tragic love stories, I would much prefer to have my love here in chocolate-covered cookie and dulce-de-leche goodness. I wish I could share my love with more Americans-- so they would understand the depth of my love for alfajores. So I end with a desperate plea to my Argentine friends who are alfajores-experts: please be gracious and share and teach your American neighbors about alfajores whatever chance you get. My tummy and aching heart thank you!

Comentarios

Bizarro dijo…
"I just thanked him for his advice, and left laughing-- thinking of course I wasn't going to eat these! I was going to save them forever and ever, share them with friends, and I would live happily ever after in alfajor-bliss. Fat? Never. How could such an evil word or thought enter my happy alfajor fantasy world?"

Best frase EVA!
Alfonso dijo…
Hey, decile después que no se olvide de Uruguay, que acá tambien hay alfajores! :P jajajaja xD
Aninka dijo…
Lord: Yo también soy extranjera y vivo en Villa Urquiza. Es decir: estoy cerca (en ARGENTINA) y no tengo ningún problema si querés regalarme toneladas de alfajores para que deguste y luego critique.
Just in case, :P
Ale Sarco dijo…
Che, pero en Miami debe haber decenas de lugares donde comprar alfajores, con tantos argentinos que hay. Hace unos días estuve en NYC y había varios lugares...
Epifanio dijo…
to have a real alfajor in North Carolina--home of NASCAR and vinegar BBQ-- THAT is heaven! And nothing short of a miracle.

Jajajajaj... esta piba es una masa.
Natalia Alabel dijo…
"happy alfajor fantasy world"

Genius!
Caro Mitxirrika dijo…
OK, pero si los traen a USA... no pierde un poco la gracia? No se ama mas lo que no se tiene? No hay amor mas doloroso que el que se perdio?

Se los digo yo, que vivo en USA y leer este blog es tortura escrita...
Nicka dijo…
Alpha whores... buenisimo el post Dani, me rei infinito leyendolo... una gran idea expandirte internacionalmente :P

Saludos querido, a ver si tengo noticias suyas!

Bel Rey
alfajor popularrr dijo…
este blog se supera día a día
santiago dijo…
"este blog se supera día a día"
y
también teniamos unas consultas:
podrías hacer o acaso ya has hecho un comentario acerca de cuales son aquellos alfajores que no usan grasa bovina? tengo algunos, pero creo que es todo un tema, copate casi-vegan.
por otro lado, que pensás de la terrible falacia en la denominación de "triple" a un alfajor que en realidad nunca lo es?. es decir, si existe lo triple, como seria uno doble? o uno simple? etc, surgen un montón de preguntas y en este momento no tengo tiempo de explayarme más, imagino que ya habrás analizado semejante cuestion.
gracias.
Angélica dijo…
Hola LK!!! I just found out your blog and I'm already a fan of it!! LOVE LOVE LOVE ALFAJORS!One of my best memories from BsAs! One friend of mine is going to ARG next week and of course I asked her to bring me as much as she can!!! :) :) :) Buenísimo blog, felicitaciones!!!!!! Saludos desde Brasil!!!!
Rabm dijo…
Hola LK!!! I just found out your blog and I'm already a fan of it!! LOVE LOVE LOVE ALFAJORS!One of my best memories from BsAs! One friend of mine is going to ARG next week and of course I asked her to bring me as much as she can!!! :) :) :) Buenísimo blog, felicitaciones!!!!!! Saludos desde Brasil!!!!
Anónimo dijo…
Alpha - whore !!! jajajaja, me mato
y te la clavaste a la yanqui???
Contá, dale.
Guille dijo…
Decile a tu patron Don Cachafaz que te abra un local en US. Asi tus amigos capitalistas burgueses pueden disfrutar de una forma heretica nuestros mas preciados manjares.

Amerifags if u really wanna noe what the hell is an Alfajor shut the blog off and come to Argentina. This dude Lord Khyron is making fun of our Alfajores just for the lulz.
profesor_insolito@hotmail.com dijo…
Hi Lord Khyron,
I am very sorry to tell you that my favorite Argentinean Alfajor is made in the USA!!!
(http://dulcecaramel.foodzie.com/dark-chocolate-alfajor.html)

Insolito