Argentines are legendary golosos (dessert lovers), and it’s no different at Christmas, with fruitcakes, nougats and chocolates making the rounds.
Pan dulce somehow doesn’t suffer the same bad reputation as its northern counterpart, fruitcake, so it remains an after-dinner or merienda (tea-time) favorite during the holidays.
Panettone is a specialized Italian-style citrus flavored bread with bits of fruit and nuts. It basically a higher-end version of pan dulce, baked in an egg-like mold and wrapped in decorative paper.
Pionono, served in its savory form as a Christmas eve appetizer, can also be found on the sweets table, except the bizcochuelo is now filled with dulce de leche, jam or fruits and chantilly cream.
Budín de pan (bread pudding) is eaten year round, and also shows up on Christmas dessert tables, at least in cooler parts of the country. There is also budín Inglés (English pudding) made with cognac, raisins and nuts.
Those who like a bit more kick to their cake and find themselves in Patagonia, will enjoy torta negra galesa, black bread made with fruits, nuts and whiskey, a legacy of the hardy Welsh settlers.
Traditional Argentine Christmas Candies
Christmas is a kids-oriented holiday in Argentina, so candy makes a big appearance.
Turrón, sweet nougat mixed with peanuts or almonds, is a Christmas classic. Although seen all year, Mantecol, the Argentine version of Halva, made popular by a Greek immigrant in the 1940’s, is also Christmas time favorite.
After enjoying the abundance of Argentina Christmas sweets, your aching teeth in January will remind you to put visiting the dentist on your New Year’s to-do list.