Republished from The Argentina Independent
Founded in 2011 by Anne Reynolds and Marina Ponzi, Fuudis is a group that leads gourmet tours in various neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. During these tours, Fuudis patrons can test delicacies offered at many a spot off the beaten path of obvious porteño dining.
As you might have guessed, a major component of the Fuudis food tour is, of course, food. I suppose, then, it is my duty as the reporter assigned to review this tour to give you a rundown of the food served during the Fuudis tour in Las Cañitas on 6th February. Here it goes.
First: The entree was served at Blanch, a quaint locale on Andres Arguibel, and consisted of a delicious Moroccan chicken kebab adorned with corn and greens, an ingenious “salad” of tartar de salmon, avocado and alfalfa sprouts served in a small glass tumbler, and an appetiser-sized cut of glazed pork belly. Wine and four types of liquor accompanied the course: Campari, Cynar, Cinzanno and Aperol. I had my Cynar mixed with grapefruit juice – it was high in flavour but low in alcohol content, probably a good thing, considering the number of drinks offered up over the course of the night.
Second up was Novecento, an Argentine Bistro with locations worldwide, which hosted the main course, a choice of either pumpkin tortellini with curry-infused butter, ginger, tomatoes and arugula or a spinach gnocchi soufflé with cream and parmesan. I went with the latter and was not disappointed. Housed in a heated cauldron, the green pieces literally melted in my mouth. A friendly fellow diner let me try her pumpkin tortellini, and it’s obvious I couldn’t have gone wrong with either choice.
Finally, for dessert, we headed to Spanish restaurant Sabino and filled whatever stomach space remained with a sampling of budin de pan, a mini apple pancake, sautéed banana, natilla cream and coffee. It seems impossible to have dessert in Argentina without some dulce de leche popping up, and Sabino didn’t disappoint on that front.
But, even though it was all well prepared and delicious, believe it or not, the food was not what left the most lasting taste. Fuudis’ website describes itself as a “social dining experience” and that first word is what I really took out of the experience, tasty as the dinner was.
Each Fuudis tour hosts 25-30 people, and Anne and Marina remind each diner to sit next to a new person at each restaurant, “forcing” you to talk to a bunch of different people. The majority of the diners spoke in Spanish, but there wasn’t much of a language barrier for English speakers. There were a handful of tourists from English-speaking nations, the guides gave all instructions in English and Spanish, and the website is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
I talked to a Dutch journalist who came to Buenos Aires to freelance in an entirely new and different culture, a pair of Jewish Brazilian brothers who recounted their recent trip to Israel, and a friendly local who imparted his wisdom on how to know when you’ve found “the one.” It was great Spanish practice and a nice cultural experience regardless of the odd linguistic complication. Everyone, waiters included, were extremely kind and the whole group was genuinely interested in having a good conversation. My photographer and I were by far the youngest of the crowd, but the age difference was never a factor.
In addition to neighbourhood tours like the one I attended, Fuudis also offers cooking classes, themed dinners, ice cream tastings, and tours that incorporate art into the trip.
One possible downside is the cost of $250, which might be out of the budget range of some, but the food lived up to it and the social experience was not something you could easily stick a price tag on.