Food-lovers, start your engines. Feria Masticar is back for the eighth installment of the superlative festival that celebrates the diversity and quality of Argentina’s food and drink – and so much more. Starting September 6th, visitors will be able to descend upon El Dorrego, located in the Colegiales neighborhood, for four days of all the eating, drinking, shopping, and learning they can handle. Think of it as Disneyland for foodies, only much, much better.
Inspired by the slogan “Comer rico hace bien” (eating well is good for you), and with the support of the Buenos Aires City government, Masticar is organized by A.C.E.L.G.A., the association of cooks and industry movers and shakers committed to raising the potential of Argentina’s culinary profile and scene while tackling some of the biggest challenges and obstacles it faces at present.
There’s no doubt that in the last ten years, the tides of change that have swept over the collective consciousness with regard to food have been nothing less than revolutionary. Basic tenets such as eating seasonal, local, and fresh produce, which were common practice generations ago but had fallen out of favor in recent years, have been reinstated in the mindset of Argentines that are learning to engage with how they eat in a totally new way.
Pioneers such as Narda Lepes, Germán Martitegui, and Martín Molteni – to name just a few – have led the way, highlighting not only the importance but also the pure deliciousness of incorporating Argentine produce and other ingredients back into the repertoire. From oysters plucked out of the southern Atlantic’s icy waters to the spicy chilto harvested up in Jujuy, the incredible abundance, variety, and depth that Argentina has to offer is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
Attendees at Masticar can expect a veritable feast for the senses, with dozens of stands and food trucks hosted by some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. As usual, they’ll be serving up different dishes and cocktails at crazy-friendly prices, making it an ideal opportunity to sip and sup on those items that you might not otherwise be able to.
This time around, look for tasty treats such as Elena’s dal mahkani, Austria’s salchi-curry, and Crizia’s always-popular oyster extravaganza. As usual, there will be a giant wine-tasting sector, which is an excellent opportunity to leave your Malbec comfort zone and dive into the rest of Argentina’s vinicultura.
The fair’s massive marketplace area at the center of the action will no doubt be overflowing with everything from cheese and salami to honey and jams to olive oils to produce to bread and beyond; there will also be a jam-packed agenda of classes and demonstrations that will cover a range of exciting topics and themes.
Keep your eyes peeled for blood oranges from Tucumán, artichokes from La Plata, llama snacks from La Puna, galangal from Misiones, Argentine truffles (!!) from Coronel Suárez, and more. You’ll even be able to stay ~*on trend*~ and pick up Japanese treats from producers who now reside in Argentina. This is an incredible opportunity to shop for some of the best produce all in one place, so don’t let it pass you bye, bb.
Some of the workshops you can expect to take place over the four-day fair are “The Origin of Everything: The Seed,” “Cheese and Beer Pairings,” “Artisanal Ice Cream: Secrets of an Argentine Classic,” and “Argentine Empanadas: Let’s Celebrate the Differences.”
The country’s best cooks will be teaching interactive cooking classes too, if you’re keen to sharpen your own knives and put your Top Chef skills to work. Look for big names like Martitegui, Donato de Santis, Christophe Krywonis, Maru Botana, Pablo Massey, Narda, Pamela Villar, Tomás Kalika, Juan Braceli, and Ximena Sáenz. What’s really cool though is that chefs from beyond Buenos Aires will join in on the action. Some of these cool cats are Tucumán’s Juan José Roble, Tupac from Cafayate (Salta), Florencia Bersani from La Pampa, and Santiago Blondel de Córdoba.
As for the food stands mentioned above, in addition to the now-classic stalwarts, we’ve got our eye on some of the new arrivals. Pampa Roja, Gonzalo Aramburu, Orilla (the new jam from Fernando Trocca), and Tujes, Tomás Kalika of Mishiguene fame’s newest project, will all be dressed to impress, no doubt. Puestos that haven’t let us down in the past? Look for i Latina’s “Pura Sabrosura,” Crizia, La Mar, and Alo’s.
Wash everything down with cocktails from 878, Julep, or Gran Bar Danzón; Johnnie Walker and Gancia will also be on hand if you need something even stronger. The Wine Bar sector will have more than 80 wines by the glass available for tasting, which means there’s no way you’re walking out of there without violet-stained teeth. Just go with it.
Finally, and perhaps the biggest change compared to previous editions of Masticar, is the addition of a guest country. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Peru will be representing this time around; head honcho Gastón Acurio will lead the way, and the marketplace will have an exclusive sector dedicated to all things nikkei.
If you’ve been reading this on an empty stomach, then you’re probably already wondering where and when you can get tickets. Head on over to Ticketek where you can purchase them in advance – and at a discount – for just AR $130. What’s even cooler is that this year, the City government is opening up the possibility for 10,000 people to enter the fair for free (!) on Thursday, September 6th. If you want to be one of these lucky ladies or gents, check out BA Capital Gastronómica’s Facebook page for more information.
Tickets will also be available at the door, though expect long lines and extended wait times if you roll up during peak hours. Save yourself the stress and buy them ahead of time, that way you can waltz right in and get to the good stuff.
We’ll keep you updated with more details and how to make the most of Masticar as the big day rolls around, so sit tight and get those eating pants ready.
Feria Masticar 2018 will take place from September 6-9 at El Dorrego (Zapiola & Matienzo, Colegiales) | The fair will run from 2 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, and from 12 PM – 11 PM Friday through Sunday | Purchase tickets in advance here | Visit the website for more information, or check out Facebook and Instagram