Excellent food is served by our chef, offering a variety of traditional local dishes that our family has been cooking for over a century.
Traditional Patagonian Cuisine at Caballadas
We feel that a key part of any travel experience is the food, so we’ve made sure the meals at Caballadas are exceptional, whether you are camping or dining at the lodge! Throughout you’ll get to taste a variety of traditional local dishes, including the famous Argentine asados (barbecues). Plus, midday and evening meals are accompanied with fantastic Argentine wines.
Morning and evening meals at the estancia are served in the Valley Lodge, where you will be staying. Midday and camping meals are more likely to be a picnic lunch, or a meal cooked over the fire asado or al disco, in a surreally beautiful setting, or dining at your campsite on our expedition trips. Throughout your stay, you will be well looked after by your personal chef!
Breakfasts are typically served continental style, with a buffet of fruits, yogurts, cereals, breads, pastries, and fresh croissants, with homemade wild strawberry, raspberry, and apple jam. Eggs are available on request. All these are served with a nice cup of coffee and a welcoming glass of orange juice to squeeze it all down.
Because you will be out on horseback or fishing all day on most days, lunches are eaten out on the ranch. These range from picnics (at locations selected for their incredible views!) to asados (barbecues) to al disco (cooked in a large round pan over an open fire), depending on the weather and where you are riding or fishing.
On picnic days, you will carry lunch with you, which may include sandwiches, empanadas (a traditional Argentine pastry stuffed with meats, vegetables, and/or cheese), milanesas (fried breaded veal fillet), potato tortillas (potatoes nestled in eggs like a gratin or omelet), and other savory items. Wash this down with a nice bottle of Malbec or Torrontes, followed by cookies, cake, or brownies for dessert.
Lunchtime barbecues are prepared while you are out riding or fishing, and may take place out on the ranch or back at the barn. These midday meals are typically “asado al disco” – where meats are cooked in a large metal disc shaped pan set over an open fire. Delicioso!
Each night before dinner, you’ll be welcomed into the living room for an aperitif. You’ll have a briefing with your guide about tomorrows ride / activities, complete with wine, anticuchos, or other appetizer.
But dinners are what you’ve been waiting for. Dinners in Argentina are usually the largest meals of the day, and often served late. But being low in the southern hemisphere, with so much daylight (12-15 hours in the austral summer), who can argue?
At Caballadas, we serve traditional local dishes that our family has been cooking for over a century! Meals are served by our chef, ranging from the traditional mixed grill parilla, including various cuts of beef (sirloin steak and veal loin) and chicken, accompanied by a bevy of dipping sauces ranging from a mushroom sauce to pumpkin puree. Main courses are complemented with grilled vegetables, stir fried vegetables in soy sauce, pastas, potatoes, quiches, fresh salads, soups, home-made breads, and cheeses. Fish (local trout) is also found on our menus, and vegetarians will be well cared for, but please give us advanced notice of any special dietary requirements. You certainly won’t go hungry!
And the final night…? Enjoy a traditional lamb Argentine asado!
At the ranch, we provide a selection of Argentine wines for our guests, and the wines of Argentina are simply fabulous. (As the world’s fifth largest producer of wine, you’d certainly expect so!) Best known for Malbec, a rich, dark, concentrated red wine not dissimilar to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, it has a richness and smoothness on the palate that has turned it into the fastest-growing wine import in the world. Less well known but equally delightful is the white varietal Torrontés, offering a crisp, dry mineral-flavored wine, with a surprisingly floral and fruity nose given the palate. Many excellent Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Chardonnays, and Sauvignon Blancs are also produced here and are available at the ranch, as are a full complement of spirits for cocktails. (One bottle of wine per every two guests per day is included in the cost of your trip. Additional wine, as well as spirits, are available for an additional fee.)
For lovers of tea and home-grown organic treats, we offer our mint tea special. Mint plants grow freely on our ranch, and our guests have the opportunity to make their own tea at any time they wish. Just venture outside the lodge, collect some mint leaves, pour some hot water in your cup, let it steep for a few minutes while the fresh mint perfume enhances your smelling senses, and enjoy!
Origins of Patagonian Cuisine
Patagonian cuisine is known for combining diverse cultural influences and the surrounding landscape into each meal. You’re likely to find a combination of meats – as expected on a cattle ranch; local trout; dishes introduced by European immigrants a century ago, and adapted over time – pastas from Italy, cakes from the Welsh, Empanadas, or “pasties,” from England; and native dishes from the native Mapuche.