Argentine empanadas: the new gastronomic fever that sweeps all of Spain (and will solve more than one meal)

We all like to enjoy a healthy meal but there are days when we don’t feel like getting into the kitchen to prepare a good dinner or we are simply too lazy to delve into the universe of trendy restaurants. And buying something on the way home becomes the best option, especially when we have many options within our reach. What the new gastronomic fever that sweeps all over Spain and she has come ready to solve more than one meal for us, both as a main dish and as a side dish, the Argentine empanadas.

This stuffed dough, so traditional in Argentine gastronomy, is the culinary proposal that has grown the most in recent years in our country, and proof of this is that in cities like Madrid and Barcelona we can find a place dedicated to this dish in practically every neighborhoods. The fault of this success, which seems unstoppable, lies in its ability to be a very versatile culinary proposal, which admits traditional fillings, such as meat or ham and cheese, but also interesting innovations that conquer those who try it.

Among the first businesses that offered this product to its customers in Madrid is the restaurant good and holy, located very close to Plaza de Legazpi. In its home cooking menu we can find eminently Argentinian cuisine, such as the milanesa or the entrails, but his most successful dish is empanadas. Five different versions of which they bake about three hundred a day, five hundred if it’s the weekend.

In 2017 Alejandro Polo decided to put into practice what he had learned while living in Argentina, where there was an empanada shop on every corner, and since then together with David Albado Malvon empanadas has not stopped growing. Because in addition to having various premises in the capital of Spain They have spread throughout the peninsula, reaching Ibiza, Granada, Valladolid, Castellón and even Porto and Lisbon.. With a menu made up of 21 flavors, ranging from classic proposals to innovative flavors such as cochinita pibil or mascarpone with truffle, they work with small producers and the repulgue, or closure of the tapas, is made by hand.

Another of the businesses responsible for the unstoppable expansion of the Argentine empanada is that of Diego Rojas and Mariano Najles, co-founders of The Muns. In 2013 these two Argentines opened their first store in Poblenou and since then they have not stopped growing in the province of Barcelona, ​​but they have also arrived in Madrid. Your offer consists of 12 flavors including mushrooms with camembert, nutella with banana or chicken curry. As a curiosity, some of them are colored, either to distinguish them or to add flavour, such as the tuna one that has a black mass because it is made with squid ink.

Among the pioneers in bringing their delicious Argentine empanadas to people from Madrid and Barcelona is Uncle Whiskers, which last year received the award for the Catalan franchise with the greatest projection. Its founder, Raúl González, opened his first store in 2008 to pick up the gastronomic tradition of his great-uncle, a Galician emigrant who lived in Argentina. And since then they have been making empanadas with 16 different flavours, among which the one with knife meat and the one with chistorra sausage and melted mozzarella have triumphed.

In Valencia it is also possible to find several businesses where we can choose a variety of empanadas to taste wherever we please. But for a few months it has been a must-see Argentinian restaurant Fierro, which has just been awarded its first Michelin star. His delicious empanada has its own name, Justina, and he opts for a traditional recipe from the Mendoza region composed of onion, minced beef, bay leaf, ground chili and beef fat that they “make” themselves. The filling is cooked the day before and left to rest overnight in the fridge, and the empanada is made just before baking so that it melts in the customer’s mouth and is tastier.

Since 2020, the Argentine couple formed by Diego Percivaldi and Cecilia Oliver have been delighting their neighbors in the Cadiz town of Puerto de Santa María in the Argentinian Bakery. They arrived there after giving up their dream, traveling the world in a caravan with their three children, because of the coronavirus. And since then they have opted for delicious proposals such as the asado criollo, or Hispanic-Argentine fusions such as the oxtail empanada, one of the best sellers, or the one with mushrooms, cheese and sherry.

Another of the latest to join the fever of Argentine empanadas is Cachito Mío, which in two years has opened three stores in Vitoria, one in Bilbao and another in Logroño. With former Baskonia player Patricio Garino at the helm of the business, along with four friends and chef Emiliano Trueba taking charge of the recipes, they have a variety of 14 savory flavors and three sweet ones. Among the former, the one with Cabrales or the one with cod stand out, among the latter we do not know whether to stay with the one with dulce de leche and walnuts, the one with nutella or the one with cheesecake and red berries.

in Pamplona Empanadas Florentine It has not yet celebrated its first anniversary, but from the heart of the city it has already become an option to consider for lovers of salty dough. With 15 different flavours, in its extensive menu the Creole veal and the Creole chorizo ​​stand out, but also the chistorra. Its flagship product is made by Argentine chefs who distribute it to various groups from Alicante and they bring ingredients such as flour or beef from their country. Among his plans is to expand the business in the medium term and open two more establishments in the city.

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