Some say that the best part of Buenos Aires’ Exposición Rural (Country Fair) is watching the gauchos galloping around the arena. Others rave about the food—juicy, Argentinean steak topped with chimichurri sauce and accompanied by a rich glass of Malbec …However, from a Minnesotan’s standpoint, I claim the best part of the fair is watching the porteños.
The Exposición Rural brings two different cultures together: those from the countryside (or from the provinces) and the city slickers (los porteños). The result is quite humorous. Not to say that porteños are completely ignorant about the country life…but I have witnessed many gazing at the common chicken in amazement. And the bird at the fair that caused one porteña to exclaim, “¡Que raro!”? It was a pheasant. I explained to her they are fairly common in western Minnesota. (Don’t worry; I let her off the hook since I don’t think any exist in Argentina.)
Here is my list of the Top 10 things you should do at La Exposición Rural:
10.) Try on/buy a poncho
9.) Hug the Cachamai mascot-Cachamai is one of the most popular brands of yerba mate in Argentina. The tea has a great flavor, no doubt, but what makes the Cachamai brand the most fun, in my opinion, is their mascot. He is the cutest little burro in Argentina. While I can’t guarantee that he will be at this year’s fair, if you see him, give him a hug for me. Then proudly wear the paper donkey ears offered at the company’s booth for the rest of the day.
8.) Learn how to dance folclore-snap, clap, whirl around…you got it, right?
7.) Give up and just sit and listen to folclore instead.
6.) See the enormous cows-some the biggest I have ever seen!
5.) Try choripán, Argentina’s version of a braut. Top with chimichurri sauce.
4.) Visit the booths dedicated to Argentina’s 23 provinces-free wine tasting and travel advice straight from the natives who call those provinces their home.
3.) Savor a delicious pastelito de batata (sweet potato pastry).
2.) Witness the gaucho activities taking place in the arena.
1.) Watch porteños, of course.
Interested in checking out the Exposición Rural? Mark your calendar now! It runs from July 14-26 and costs $20 ARS (about $5 US) for age 8 & up. Take the D Line subway and get off at the Plaza Italia stop in the Palermo barrio. The fair is held in the La Rural building nearby.