Although I’m not entirely sure this qualifies as breakfast according to anyone’s definition.
Three Sundays ago, Elizabeth and I boarded an early morning short-haul LAN flight from Buenos Aires to Mendoza. Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in Buenos Aires is a story all on its own, but let’s save that for another day.
Elizabeth had been preparing me since the day I landed in Argentina for my very first LAN pack. It sounds like a safety suit, or an astronaut’s meal plan. The latter isn’t too far from the truth.
LAN packs are unceremoniously handed to passengers in small cardboard boxes that I honestly thought were an Argentinian brand of tampons the first time I saw one sitting on Elizabeth’s kitchen dresser. Guess who was wrong!
Let’s examine the contents of this 9AM breakfast box, shall we? Alfajores are a matter of pride in many South and Latin American countries – everyone has their favorite brand. In its most standard form, an alfajor is two small round sweet biscuits with a generous filling of dulce de leche in between. Argentina’s favorite seems to be Havanna – they’re as omnipresent as Starbucks in New York City. Havanna’s most popular alfajor is coated in either black or white chocolate.
Me? I’ve got a pretty strong opinion on alfajores. That’s what happens when you’re raised with a Peruvian abuelita who makes them from scratch and, thankfully, in quantities that can feed a family that pops these bad boys like potato chips. The Havanna alfajorsito (mini alfajor) is way too sweet and way too crumbly. It’s sweetness overload, and there it was, staring at me at 9AM.
So I ate it. Whatever.
Next was a small packet of crackers flavored with dried onions and herbs, a tease of a savory-fix. These were also provided by Havanna. The whole LAN pack appears to be Havanna subsidized. Anyway, dry crackers and, oh look! Small and dry oat cookies. Are you noticing a theme here?
This was certainly not the most appetizing or wholesome of breakfasts (and that’s coming from someone who’s had pancakes with ice cream fairly recently), but if a LAN pack means I’m airborne in South America, I will take it.