helado

What is it about ice cream? Young people like it. Old people like it. Twenty-six year old people really, REALLY like it. In summation, everyone likes ice cream.

(Don’t like ice cream? Away with you.)

Much like pizza and cupcakes in NYC, where an Argentine buys their helado (ice cream) is a matter of favoritism. Everyone has their heladerías, whether it be the citywide Un’Altra Volta or the local shop down la calle.

Given our Friday night out, Elizabeth and I had an ambitious Saturday planned for ourselves. After a quick lunch and fresh juices at Bar Seis in Palermo, we trekked down to Villa Crespo for our afternoon of leather outlets. That’s another story for another day, but I want to get this point across to you –

It was miserable out. We were tired. Money had been spent. If ever there were two girls deserving of a pick-me-up, it was us and so, Elizabeth took me to Tufic, her local heladería. I can be a bit trying in situations like these – I want to taste everything and I’m incredibly indecisive, but at least my excitement is contagious. Or, at least, I like to think so. Elizabeth translated patiently as I tapped on the display, saying hello to all my new friends.

Isn’t it beautiful? How do you choose? If you’re like me, you manage to amass a respectable collection of tasting spoons before finally making a decision. Here’s the great thing about Tufic, and most heladerías, for that matter. On a diet? Have those skinny jeans you’d like to fit into? Think ordering the smallest size is the smart way to go? WRONG. Well, I mean, right by all logical standards, but a small here gets you not one, but TWO scoops of helado. When you’re friends with the shopkeeper, that’s two generous scoops of helado. Always befriend the shopkeeper.

So what did we get?

No self-respecting Hispanic will ever utter the words, Oh, dulce de leche? No, I don’t really like it. Never. Never Ever. Point taken? In a culture where this rich spread reigns supreme, the creation of dulce de leche supremo helado isn’t a surprise. This is dulce de leche helado with dulce de leche swirled throughout – it’s Inception ice cream. It’s crack. It’s heaven on a spoon. Not for the faint of heart or those too easily overcome with sugar highs, this stuff is AMAZING. Scoop # 2 was banana split and you really could taste the banana.

Mine, though not as picturesque (and oh, did I try), was equally delicious. I love mint chocolate chip, but when in Argentina, one dons the local garb and dines like the natives. Which is to say, I had dulce de leche granizado – dulce de leche helado with chocolate chips. Again, AMAZING. My second scoop was crema de avellana, loosely translated to “this tastes like Nutella ice cream, mustn’t share”. Linguists will tell you it actually means hazelnut cream, but trust me on this one, kids. It tastes like Nutella ice cream. Sharing is overrated.

The great thing about living in Buenos Aires, or visiting friends who live in Buenos Aires, is fully experiencing this helado culture. Much like we can order everything from tacos to toilet paper delivered to our city apartments, porteños have the luxury of having helado delivered to their couch.

And that’s exactly what we did. After a day of getting lost in Mendoza, driving through more vineyards, taking in scenery, rushing to the airport (only to stand in line for 30 minutes with our 7 bottles of vino in our arms/on our backs) and finally retiring to the happy apartment on Santa Fe, it was much too late for dinner. It wasn’t, however, too late to order helado delivery. Bags unpacked, wine proudly displayed in the kitchen, Downton Abbey dvd playing and us in pajamas with coffee mugs full of helado, you’ve never seen two girls so happy.

Tufic Helado is located on the corner of Guatemala and Armenia in the
Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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