Heladería de La Semana: Freddo

It took me six weeks of living in Argentina to have my first dulce de leche ice cream.  Maybe I waited so long because deep down inside I knew that when and if I started down this sweet road of ice cream heaven there was no turning back.  Well, on Friday I finally opened my own Pandora’s box of icy, creamy, caramel-y goodness and I am now a happy resident in the world of Argentine helado.

Anyone who has spent time in Manhattan will tell you that there is a Duane Reade and a Starbucks everywhere you turn.  Here in Buenos Aires, instead of a drugstore chain like Duane Reade (although you’ll see a fair amount of Famacity) and a generic coffee shop (there are a few Starbucks here as well), you’ll see a neighborhood parrilla, a heladería, and a café on every block.  I haven’t cracked the code on how one stays slim and healthy on a constant diet of meat, coffee, wine, and ice cream like these Porteños, but it seems as though the entire city consumes copious amounts of things that for those of us from the U.S. are conditioned to stay far away from.  Maybe there is something in the water or maybe something in the air, I don’t know.  What I do know is that in order to live like a local, I’ve decided to fully embrace this ice cream culture (I’m not quite there yet with the meat/parrilla and coffee/ca culture just yet).  I’m starting an “ice cream shop of the week” initiative.

Each week I’m going to a different ice cream shop and will try their dulce de leche ice cream (OK, maybe one other flavor of the chocolate variety).  Last week, it was the ubiquitous “Freddo,” which can be found all over town.  There is one just a few blocks away from my apartment… well, then again, within a 5 block radius of my apartment building there is no less than 6 ice cream shops.  If I do say so myself, the restraint I have shown in resisting the creamy delicious temptations in the 90+ degree heat of the BA summer is remarkable.

This wasn't at a stand-alone shop where the display case is REALLY impressive.. @ Freddo cafe in Abasto Shopping Mall

On Friday, with some encouragement from my friends I finally caved and had my first dulce de leche and chocolate con almendras (chocolate with almonds) ice cream.  Note, ice cream is goooood here but not cheap; a small cone or cup with two scoops will run you 20 – 25 pesos ($5 – $6USD).  Much later that day (actually at 2AM on my way home from dinner), I had another dulce de leche ice cream on a mini cone (minicucu) for which Freddo has specially priced at 5 pesos.  You get a cute little scoop of ice cream on the smallest of all crispy waffle cones.  It’s awesomely perfect.  Have I mentioned that I got this ice cream at 2 in the morning?  Along with all the bars and clubs that were “happening” at that hour the busiest places were the ice cream shops, bursting at the seams with Porteños.  Argentines really do love their helado.

I am not an ice cream connoisseur and liked Freddo‘s ice cream just fine, but everyone’s been telling me about their favorite heladerías.  Since my “ice cream shop of the week” initiative is just starting I will use Freddo‘s as my baseline and start from there.  Who knows?  By May or June I may become an ice cream connoisseur.  On the other hand, here you can buy ice cream by the kilo in giant styrofoam containers (it’ll set you back about $20 USD) and they will deliver ice cream to your house.  I will NOT be  participating in the “gain 5lbs per week” initiative.  I will repeat the word “moderation” as I make my heladería visits… at least that’s my intention right now.

Freddo: various locations all over Buenos Aires

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5 Responses to Heladería de La Semana: Freddo

  1. Oh, la, la! I’ve now got a hankering for a frozen treat. Oh, sigh!! Theadora

    • dreamgolive says:

      Go for it!!! I’m eating an alfajor right now which is Argentina’s version of macarons… a cookie sandwich with dulce de leche in the middle and covered in chocolate. I don’t know what’s happening to me.. This country is turning me into a sugar addict. 🙂

  2. lunasealife says:

    I have been battling my sugar addiction since I got down here. It’s been awesomely gruesome. 😉 I finally had to make bets with some friends back in the states that I could go 30 days without sugar to get me to stop – I’m too proud to lose a bet and I can’t afford to lose $50US for caving to medialuna/helado/alfajor cravings. I intended to do a heladeria-a-week too but that turned into heladeria-a-day… : / Good luck and happy eating!

    PS There are also fresh fruit and vegetable stands on every block, and for them to stay in business Argentines have got to buy fresh fruits and veggies daily. So from what I can gather, for lunch and dinner Argentines generally eat small portions, mostly meat/fruits/veg, and drink mate or coffee (they don’t seem to be heavy drinkers), and little to no breakfast. I think they have their helado and pastries once or twice a week but take it easy overall. Plus the walking/public transportation helps. Their obesity rate is only 18%, still half that of the US. I wonder what their diabetes rate is…

    • dreamgolive says:

      I like to eat a big breakfast or lunch, and have a light bite around 6:30-7PM for dinner. Dinner at 9:30-10PM is hard for me… having said that, I just had dinner at Kensho (I’m sure you’ve been!?) and loved it. I do have a veg/fruit stand I go to in my neighborhood- I think it’s great that the Argentines buy their produce fresh, locally, and often. I am in love with plums and nectarines at the moment and I eat at least one of each (plus an apple) everyday. The ice cream thing is.. oh dear. Now that I’ve started I don’t know if I can stop. This week it’s Jauja- went on Tuesday and thought it was the best ice cream ever! I also had half of an alfajor today. I may have to make a bet with you and stay away from sugar, too! Good luck with your challenge- will be following your blog and sending you support.

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