Simple Simon met a pieman…

2014.Oct.20 Monday · 0 comments

in Food & Recipes, Life, Restaurants

…going to the fair,
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Let me taste your ware.

The last few days, for the third year, the Feria Masticar has come to town (not that it goes to other towns, at least as far as I know). In 2012, I, along with roughly 50,000 other people, checked out the first edition of this gastronomic soiree. Last year, I made a brave attempt at attending, but the lines to purchase tickets and enter were just too long (78,000 attended), and I hadn’t planned it in advance to have one already in my pocket. This year, I was offered a ticket for one of the days, so was able to skip the multi-block long line for purchasing and join the somewhat shorter though much faster moving line to simply enter, along with, 128,000 people attending over the four days. Given that it was supposed to be a bigger event, I went early – arriving right at the noon opening time on Sunday (though they didn’t start letting people in until almost 12:20 – they just weren’t ready).

Given that the space hasn’t expanded, they’ve just packed in more booths, more food trucks, more seats and standing room counters to eat at. More “name” chefs and restaurants are participating, the marketplace is overflowing with goodies to buy and take home. They seem to have gotten the ticket system worked out – there are more purchase points, all the vendors accept them. It’s more expensive – 50 pesos to enter, and plates running from about 35-60 pesos instead of 30 to enter and 10-35 per plate that they were two years ago. All that just makes it far more crowded, especially as the day wore on – I ended up staying about two hours, by which time it was becoming impossible to get close to the booths and get any more food. Besides, I’d already eaten my way through nine small plates – more than enough:

– Yacaré overo – a type of caiman, or alligator – in a sweet ceviche, from PuraTierra
– Carpaccio of rainbow trout from BASA
– Min Pao (steamed bun) filled with barbecued mushrooms, from the Nomade food truck
– Stewed venison with hummus, mint yogurt, and tomato fondue, from Astor
– Papas bravas (fried potatoes with aioli and spicy pepper sauce) and sauteed prawns with herbs and chili from Hernan Gipponi
– Braised lamb taco, from Pablo Buzzo
– Goat cheese provoleta, from Don Julio
– Salmon-cake with wheatberries and shredded cabbage, from Yeite
– Gluten-free pastrami sandwich with spicy mustard and pickles from Celi-Gourmet

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