Argentina’s sickly sweet guilty pleasure of consuming alfajores may not surprise you that much. We’re all inclined to pop into a kiosk and drop a AR $20 bill on a quick sugar high. Or if you’re feeling fancy, you might head into Havanna and go all out, splurging AR $35 for one of their 80 percent cacao types. You have to be strong to resist the urge: both the addiction and struggle are real.
But the question on all of your minds is how many are we *actually* eating? According to research carried out by alfajor makers and confectionary company ‘Fantoche,’ the answer is one kilo per person annually. Yeah that’s right, we’re consuming a whole 1,000 grams of that sticky, sugary, silver packaged dulce de leche addiction every year.
Honestly speaking, that figure may slightly
hugely underestimate our alfajor consumption. Alfajores weigh about 50 grams each, which means if you were to consume a whole kilo, you would only be eating about 20 in total. I speak for myself in saying that’s not fully reasonable.
Being the most popular and most purchased Argentine confectionary by far, according to Adgya (the Argentine Association for Distributors of Confectionary), the success of the alfajor is based on its position as a classic that will never go out of fashion.
By all accounts Argentina, is more than happy to cater to this obsession, with around 38,000 tons being produced each year, according to studies done by Nielsen NRI back in 2016.
Perhaps their popularity is because alfajores are crucial to the Argentine existence; locals nibble on them from infancy, right through childhood and well into adulthood. They’re an emblematic piece of Argentine food heritage, up there on the food wall of fame alongside the icons of Malbec, steak, and ice cream. You’ll find that any Argentine or expat you talk with will have a favorite brand, most likely remaining loyal and not settling for anything less.
But it’s important to note that an alfajor bought here in Buenos Aires will be different to those in other provinces. Often made with rice cakes, maize or corn, the varieties and differentiations are endless, united in their dulce de leche sandwich form. With ‘Capitán del Espacio’ being the most popular in the area south of the capital, ‘Merengo’ in Santa Fé and ‘Estancia El Rosario’ in Córdoba, tastes are as geographical as much as they are personal.
Here’s to alfajor eating.