Argentine Beer Tasting and Picada
Argentina isn’t known for its beer, it’s known for its wine. But a wine tasting would be very difficult to conduct with all the different wines produced in this country, and given that the tasters would be my mom and I with the occasional sip from my grandma. So we decided to have a beer tasting instead. We wanted to find the tastiest lager among the most popular brands in Buenos Aires.
The five most common Argentine brands are Schneider, Isenbeck, Quilmes (the most popular and well-known national beer), Brahma and Iguana. They are priced between $3 and $4.35 pesos ($0.75 to $1.00 US each) and some of them are manufactured by the same company, Quilmes. Quilmes also produces Iguana and Brahma. It was very difficult for my mom and I to choose our favorite because, honestly, they all taste the same! In the end we decided that Iguana is our least favorite (unpleasantly bitter), I liked Brahma best and she liked Isenbeck best. The next time I’m in the mood for beer, I’m just going to see which has the best price!
We accompanied our beer tasting with an Argentine picada, a table of cheeses (quesos semi duros y queso azul), cold cuts (jamon crudo, chorizo colorado y salamin), olives and toasted French bread drizzled with olive oil.
I also had a craving for queso y dulce. The “dulce” is dulce de membrillo, or quince jam. Quince is super sour raw, but when it’s cooked into a red pulp with plenty of sugar, it becomes a grainy jelly that I love and pairs beautifully with cheese (and beer)!