Friday, December 7, 2012

Buenos Aires Feria de Artesanías 2012

The Feria Internacional de Artesanías started this past Tuesday (December 4) and is going on through Sunday (December 9) at La Rural in Palermo. This is an event that I have literally been looking forward to since I walked out the door last year. The huge exposition showcases Argentine artists from all over the country, as well as artists from other South American countries. The entrance ticket cost A$R 25, well worth it whether you're shopping or simply admiring the art. 
I recommend you bring your whole month's salary or whatever you're willing to spend, you'll use it all and wish you'd brought more. Hundreds of stands are organized according to basic craft types including metal, glass, leather, clothing and wood among others; you can find nearly every handcrafted product under the sun from knives to jewelry and home decor to musical instruments. In the back of the hall they also have a section where each province of Argentina is represented (although you may find artisans from those provinces among the main stands as well), and also the food and drink sellers. 
I can't recommend this event enough. For ex-pats and tourists it's a great place to buy holiday gifts for friends and families, souvenirs for yourself and see the styles of the Argentina provinces you might not get to visit. But I think even Argentines will be impressed with the quality and variety of products showcased.
I accidently went overboard with the food buys. I can't resist. But those cookies on right are from Salta and they are amazing. They're shortbread cookies topped with dulce de leche and then covered with a solid (but not crunchy) sugar coating. They are truly divine. And if you give a mouse a Salteño cookie, he'll want some dulce de leche liquer to wash it down with. 
I also want to give a special shoutout to Celicias. I first discovered them at Caminos y Sabores and was thrilled to see them again. They have an excellent honey mustard dressing (very possibly the best sauce I've found in BA) as a salad dressing, dipping sauce or marinade, and I wanted more. After a chat with the guy manning the booth, I discovered they are part of the Fundacion Cedemil and are a great organization that employs, for paid wages, mentally handicapped adults in food production. Their newest product (to me at least) is cheese crackers, reminiscent of Cheez-Its. I would love them a bit crunchier but they're still addictive. As in, I already finished off the whole pack in less than 24 hours. Make sure to check them out along with so many other great places. 

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