Uribelarrea

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One of the great things about living in Buenos Aires is having the ability to easily escape to any number of smaller towns or farming communities for a day trip.  Gabriela, my Spanish teacher, had been thinking about taking me and Erin along with her to explore one of these places.  She grew up in Quilmes and has traveled the world, and Argentina, extensively.  One of the few campos she hadn’t yet been to but was dying to check out is Uribelarrea.  Fun to say, I know.  Located within the provincia of Buenos Aires, it was founded in 1890 when Miguel Nemesio de Uribelarrea donated some of his land to start an agricultural community.  Just 4 years later, the Don Bosco school was created to teach the children of the town the technical skills needed to cultivate the land for farming, raise cows for milk and other livestock for food, produce the incredible Argentine fiambres (cured meats) and cheeses, etc.  The school is said to be the first of its kind in Argentina and still functions to this day.  The importance of this school is realized immediately once you try any of the foods produced in Uribe.

We started our trip by taking a small bus from downtown to a town called Cañuelas.  It was about a mile walk from where we were dropped off to the bus/train station we needed to get to, so we were fortunate enough to pass through and get a glimpse of the town.  With a population of around 50 thousand, Cañuelas is only around 40 minutes outside of the capital and is a good jumping off point to get to places like Lobos and (of course) Uribe.

Bus schedule in Cañuelas

Bus schedule in Cañuelas

Waiting for the bus

Waiting for the bus

Believe it or not, they even have Colectivo lines out here.  One thing I love about the public buses is how the drivers decorate them.  Sure, some are brutally tacky and induce sickness, bus some are pretty cool.

Believe it or not, they even have Colectivo lines out here. One thing I love about the public buses is how the drivers decorate them. Sure, some are brutally tacky and induce sickness, bus some are pretty cool.

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We got off at the stop right in front of the church, although that was not what was important to us.  Across the street from the house of worship was my kind of house of worship – a restaurant called El Palenque.  A Palenque is the wooden bar that is outside of saloons and other establishments where the gauchos used to tie their horses to while they went inside to tie one on.  As you can see from the picture below, this place has been around for a while.  Classically Argentine, the food is your standard asado fare of grilled meats.   Now don’t let my use of the word “standard” lead you to think that it’s anything but incredible.  Keep in mind that the ability to cook meat over an open fire courses through their veins, and don’t forget that the meat they offer came from a local farm just a few steps away.  Heaven.

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Gas water in old school glass seltzer bottles.  Popular thing down here.

Gas water in old school glass seltzer bottles. Popular thing down here.

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Fiambres

Fiambres

Morcilla - blood sausage

Morcilla – blood sausage

Asado - ribs

Asado – ribs

Riñones - kidneys

Riñones – kidneys

Vacio

Bondiola

Parrilla on the left and classic asado on the right where they hang meats over an open fire

Parrilla on the left and classic asado on the right where they hang meats over an open fire

Don't worry, this is still Argentina.  You're all set on wine selection

Don’t worry, this is still Argentina. You’re all set on wine selection

After stuffing ourselves, we decided to head to the possible source of the meat we had just eaten.  Since we went on a Saturday class was not in session, but fortunately the little store that sells the products they make was and they didn’t mind us walking around on our own on the grounds.

Escuela Agrotécnica Don Bosco

Escuela Agrotécnica Don Bosco

Inside the shop at the school

Inside the shop at the school

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Jamon crudo serrano mmm

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This is a rec center at the school where we could hear kids playing soccer inside

This is a rec center at the school where we could hear kids playing soccer inside

Not sure if they thought Erin had food, but they all, literally every single cow in a group of 30 or more, came right up to Erin

Not sure if they thought Erin had food, but they all, literally every single cow in a group of 30 or more, came right up to her

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Tambo - where they milk the cows

Tambo – where they milk the cows

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After our tour of the school, we got back into the car of the chofer we hired for the day.  He was a super nice guy, was incredibly knowledgeable of Uribe having grown up there, and even attended the school when he was younger.  Our next stop was the tambo de cabras – goat milk farm.

It was lunch time when we arrived

It was lunch time when we arrived

Kind of how I look when I eat

Kind of how I look when I eat, but much cuter

This guy was alone in time out because he was misbehaving.  In fact, the day before we got there, he jumped over the fence of his previous pen and ate a bunch of roses in the flower patch

This guy was alone in time out because he was misbehaving. In fact, the day before we got there, he jumped over the fence of his previous pen and ate a bunch of roses in the flower patch

The owner.  Super nice guy who was more than happy to answer all of our questions and let us pet his goats.  You can tell he loves what he does and his tambo is immaculate and well maintained.

The owner. Super nice guy who was more than happy to answer all of our questions and let us pet his goats. You can tell he loves what he does and his tambo is immaculate and well maintained.

They have a little restaurant and shop as well

They have a little restaurant and shop as well

They had a smooth one and a stronger version.  Both really delicious.  They also had dulce de leche, ice cream, and other goodies made from goats milk

They had a smooth one and a stronger version. Both really delicious. They also had dulce de leche, ice cream, and other goodies made from goats milk

Onward to Puerto Escondido, a shop right down the road from the tambo de cabras that makes their own fiambres and other indulgences.

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Inside Puerto Escondido

Inside Puerto Escondido

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You thought you were going to stop by and not try anything???

You thought you were going to stop by and not try anything???

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They, like everyone else in Uribe, were super cool and more than welcome to show us how they do things.  All the salami/sausage is made in house and hung to dry and age in the interior.

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I love the fan.  Nothing fancy here... just rooms of hanging meet with simple techniques that produce unbelievable results

I love the fan. Nothing fancy here… just rooms of hanging meat with simple techniques that produce unbelievable results

Our gracious hosts at work

Our gracious hosts at work

Ok so how much for everything?

Ok so how much for everything?

Just a few hundred meters down the road lay our final destination.  The Uribeña is a place I still dream about and can’t wait to go back to.  This bar serves up their house made beer to compliment the menu of local picadas.  At the time, they had a blond, a red, and a black beer being served on tap.

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Once you go black, you never go back

Once you go black, you never go back

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The owner.  Once again, no one keeps secrets in Uribe.  He walked us through his entire brewing process and answered any questions we had.

The owner. Once again, no one keeps secrets in Uribe. He walked us through his entire brewing process and answered any questions we had.

Lúpulo - hops.  Most people get them in pellets like this

Lúpulo – hops. Most people get them in pellets like this

Bottling station.  Production is very boutique around 1,000 bottles a month

Bottling station. Production is very boutique around 1,000 bottles a month

Enfriador - how he cools the beer after the boiling process to prepare it for fermentation.  He built this setup himself

Enfriador – how he cools the beer after the boiling process to prepare it for fermentation. He built this setup himself

Fermentation station in another walk in climate controlled room

Fermentation station in another walk in climate controlled room

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Right before we left we were standing around waiting for the cab we called to pick us up and bring us back to Cañuelas, a couple local guys rode up on horseback.  They were teenagers and racing each other, just like we would with cars in the States.  Erin immediately went up and started to pet the horse when the guy asked her if she wanted to ride it.  This was yet another example of how warm and welcoming everyone in Uribelarrea is.  Can’t wait to go back.

Pure joy

Pure joy

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