Hello everyone! My name is Jessenia, and I am a junior here at the Mount. I am a double major in criminal justice and Spanish with intentions to pursue a career in law. This semester I have had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I wanted to share my top 10 experiences with you! First and foremost, if given the opportunity to study abroad and you have the means and flexibility to do so, just do it! Being able to immerse oneself in a different culture is truly an enriching experience.
After enduring a very long flight with knots in my stomach the whole way, I finally arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was welcomed into a beautiful home with a family eager to receive me. My host mom toured the house with me and my roommate and showed us to our rooms. For this blog, I wanted to emphasize empanadas. Although Argentina cannot claim empanadas as its creation, they are widely eaten throughout Latin America.
When I first arrived in Argentina my first meal was homemade empanadas that my roommate and I made with our host mom. We filled the disc of dough with beef and chopped boiled egg and then placed them in the oven. Argentinians have various styles and fillings for their empanadas. Each province fills the empanadas with a different “relleno.” Argentinians also close the ends of the disc by pressing the ends together in a fold-and-twist manner to create an almost braided pattern on the ends. The technique is called a “repulgue.”
Our first Mount group meal together was empanada tasting, and I did not know that there were so many flavors. We were allowed three flavors each and I chose caprese, cheese & onions, and ham & cheese. I chose those flavors because I am used to the classic meat options and wanted to try different ones. They have options from sweet to savory and spicy to mild.
One favorite activity was making the empanadas from scratch. We made and kneaded the dough together. We made the relleno with beef with olives, green onions and potatoes together with some spices like salt and pepper. After cooking the relleno, we put together the empanadas and the instructor slowly showed us the unique technique. We had two practice runs of putting them together and using the technique to close them. The third empanada was a competition and sadly I did not win. I overfilled mine and when I went to close it the dough broke a little requiring me to implement a surgical method to save the empanada. I was the last to finish! On the bright side, it was still tasty!