Friday, March 31, 2023

ARGENTINA | 19-08-2019 12:11

10th annual Masticar food festival draws large crowds, despite the August chill

Popular food festival delivers another record turn-out, offering attendees artisanal vendors, international dishes, cooking classes and plenty of beer.

Trouncing over a muddied field, wrapped in as many warm layers as possible, a record crowd attended the final day of the 10th annual Masticar food festival on Sunday. 

Nestled in Colegiales, the popular food fair continues to draw large crowds. This edition featured another small army of food trucks, restaurant stands of myriad styles, cooking classes with celebrity chiefs, playgrounds for the children and even a Johnnie Walker photo stand for the fatigued parents dreaming of whisky. 

“I think it’s very important for the City’s culture," said Luciano Avellone, a three-time Masticar attendee and friend of the owners of Peruvian restaurant Chan Chan. “There is a mix of a lot of cultures from South America here. Every year it’s getting better.” 

The fair also featured unique dishes not necessarily native to Latin America though, such as Middle Eastern shawarma and falafel offerings or Indian fusion meals with lamb curry and coconut chutney. There were a few unusual offerings too – like an ice cream sandwich hamburger, topped off with bacon and peanut sauce.

“For me, the most important thing for the City’s culture is to drink a delicious beer, and share this moment with the people,” said attendee Hernán Eiranova, who said his favourite dish so far was a crepe stuffed with spinach and chicken, with a cheese and avocado dressing from the Bon Bouquet food truck. 

Eiranova said last year ago he wasn’t able to enter the fair it was so busy, so he was pleased to have made it in this time.

The food fest's popularity shows no sign of slowing down. The line to enter the fair on Sunday snaked down Avenida Teniente Benjamin Matienzo, where undreds huddled in an August chill of around 13 degrees Celsius. 

Given that, one of the most popular areas was the heated market area running alongside Avenida Dorrego, where artisanal vendors and produce booths from across the country sell cheeses, alfajores, organic flour, olive oil and other delicacies and staples.

The market was also a space for agricultural social movements, like the Unión de Trabajadores de la Tierra, UTT, who delivered their own agricultural messages. 

“We participated in last year’s fair and it helped us [in terms of awareness],” said Daniela Carrizo, who sold produce at Masticar with the UTT, which operates a store in Almagro.

While the group hopes to promote it's message of labour rights for agricultural workers and localised farming at the festival, Carrizo commented that it's harder for a vegetable stand to compete with artisanal products. 

"They sell because they're pretty, because they grab your attention," she said. "Because we have a vegetable stand it's difficult... but this promotion still helps us so much." 

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Lucas Robinson

Lucas Robinson


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