El Calafate is a small town near the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz. It’s mainly known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, home to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier, whose ever-shifting icy landscape is popular for hiking and sightseeing.
The history of El Calafate began in the first decades of the twentieth century as a sheltering place for wool traders. The town was officially founded in 1927 to promote settlement, but it was the creation of nearby Perito Moreno National Park in 1937 that sparked growth and the building of better road access.
There are three main activities for those who dare to visit the region: walk over the 70-meters-thick Perito Moreno, bote ride to see the glaciers, and a mountain hike in El Chaltén that leads to a view of Cerro Fitz Roy.
It is a romantic place with a lot of room for contemplation and silence.
Even though El Calafate is a small town there are quite a few restaurant options. Our favorite was Pura Vida Resto Bar, great atmosphere and food.
Calafate berries are found all around southern Patagonia (but you can use easier to find berries) and add a different twist to the traditional Pisco Sour.
3 oz Pisco
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 teaspoon Calafate powder
Calafate powder (Enough to rim the cocktail glass or sprinkle on top)
In a cocktail shaker, pour the lemon juice, Pisco, simple syrup, and ice together. Shake well.
Add in the Calafate powder then shake again.
Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with the lime wedge then dip it in Calafate powder until the entire rim is covered.
Pour the mixture from the shaker into the glass then enjoy.
Garnish with a sprinkle of Calafate powder.
Bajofondo is a Río de la Plata-based band consisting of eight musicians from Argentina and Uruguay, which aims to create a more contemporary version of tango and other musical styles of the Río de la Plata region.
Patagonian Lamb Roast
20g/¾oz dried porcini mushrooms, soaked
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 onion, very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
250g/9oz thin streaky bacon or pancetta
2 lamb loin fillets, trimmed
Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4. Chop the soaked mushrooms and then mash them to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Place the mashed mushrooms, vinegar, onion, garlic, rosemary, parsley, oregano, sugar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper into a blender and blitz to a paste.
Place the bacon rashers together, side by side, onto a chopping board to form two sheets. Place a lamb fillet at the rasher ends of each sheet, ready to roll up. Spread the paste mixture evenly over the top of each lamb fillet, then roll up each fillet like a cigar, wrapping them up in the bacon sheets, to form a roll. Place the two fillets in a roasting tin, making sure the rasher ends are tucked under the fillet on the bottom of the tin. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-25 minutes, depending on how rare or well done you like your lamb. Remove the fillets from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.
To serve, slice the wrapped fillets on the diagonal and place them onto warmed plates. Serve with mashed potatoes and root vegetables.