Argentine’s are known to drink mate, a tea-like infusion adopted from the Guarani people, but what some visitors may not know is that 19th century British immigrants brought with them the afternoon tea tradition, which developed with a local twist. Travelers can still get a taste of the old ways at Welsh teahouses in Patagonia, where at first isolation and now tourists’ money has kept the tradition alive. While some feel a bit kitsch, when the Patagonian wind chills you to the bone, finding refuge in a Welsh cottage nursing some hot tea and scones doesn’t sound like the worst way to keep warm.
In the melting pot of Buenos Aires, teatime morphed into the very Argentine custom of merienda, served around coffee, mate, or other tisanes instead of black tea with milk and sugar, medialunas or facturas instead of scones, tostados (toasted ham and cheese sandwiches) instead of cucumber or tomato sandwiches and, of course, dulce de leche, which goes in or on everything. You have to have something to tide you over until that late night bife de chorizo!
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