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I Scream, You Scream: La Noche de las Heladerías Is Back!

The third annual event celebrating artisanal ice cream includes over 200 shops.

By | [email protected] | November 13, 2019 9:47am

ice creamPhoto by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

These days, it seems like it’s impossible to get Argentines to agree on anything. Boca or River? Macri or Fernández? Medialunas de manteca, or de grasa? Perhaps the one arena where we can all get on board is one that’s creamy, sweet, and downright delicious: helado. That’s right, 83 percent of Argentines consume ice cream year-round and like it even more when it’s of the artisanal persuasion.

During the 35th annual Artisanal Ice Cream Week (semana del auténtico helado artesanal) comes the third annual Noche de las Heladerías in both Buenos Aires and throughout the rest of Argentina. In total, more than 200 ice cream shops nationwide are taking place in the festivities. From 7 PM on November 14th, all of you gordos can enjoy 50 percent off (!) a 1/4 or 1/2 kilo of your fave ice cream. Basically, if you don’t take part, you’re a big dum dum and should never be allowed to eat helado again. Sorry not sorry.

It’s also a great chance to get to know your local heladero (is that a thing? Like, do their LinkedIn profiles say that?), the traditions behind how they make their famous ice cream, and more. To keep things extra-festive, artists will perform, sing, and provide other surprises throughout the night.

Artisanal Ice Cream Week is organized by AFADHYA – the Association of Artisanal Ice Cream Makers – and runs from November 11th through the 17th. Gabriel Fama, President of AFADHYA, explains why the world of helado is so rich in Argentina: “[People] prefer an artisanal product, and that’s because of the quality of the ingredients used, the creaminess and the consistency of the ice cream. But above all, it’s the high quality of all the ingredients we use that sets us apart and why they choose us.” In fact, Argentina leads the region in ice cream consumption, because of course it does.

What flavors tickle the Argie palate the most? According to a survey carried out on the Association’s social media channels, the “dream 1/4 kilo” includes chocolate with almonds and dulce de leche granizado, followed by (wait for it) sambayón. WHAT. OK, you guys are crazy but I’ll go with it. Considering that mint chocolate chip is my *fave* flavor of all time – and this is not up for debate – I will give you the sambayón but only because you’ve got bigger fish to fry (like a crippling debt to the IMF).

But wait, isn’t eating ice cream technically not great for you? Nutritionist Cecilia Garau, who works with AFADHYA, says that artisanal ice cream is no longer seen as “junk” but rather a “nutritious and healthy” food. She adds that it’s an “important part of a balanced and varied diet” that includes “high-quality proteins, calcium, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.” Only in Argentina would this be a thing, and I am 100 percent HERE. FOR. IT. Ice cream also contains tryptophan, the magical amino acids which famously increases serotonin levels in the brain and makes you feel floaty, happy, and maybe a little bit sleepy.

According to another study carried out by D’Alessio IROL consulting firm, 31 percent of ice cream eaters opt for the 1 kilo pote when getting their helado fix. This is followed by the 1/4 kilo (24 percent) and then the classic cucurucho (17 percent). You know, I’ve always loved saying “cucurucho” – it would make a good name for a dog, don’t you think? How and when do Argentines eat their artisanal ice cream? 48 percent enjoy it as a sweet treat after dinner at home; 80 percent consume it socially, at gatherings with family and friends.

Get the complete low-down on which ice cream shops are participating in La Noche de las Heladerías on this website, on Facebook, or on Instagram. Plan accordingly, put on your comfiest eating pants, and live your best life.