First impressions of Montevideo

We have done some walking around the old town area of Montevideo which like Buenos Aires, has some very impressive old French inspired architecture that is really showing its age. There are some beautiful old buildings if you look up, however it’s been a bit grey thus far for good photographs so we are hoping for a sunny day soon. Montevideo has many museums, most of which are free so there will be plenty to explore in the next few days.

Parilla or BBQ is one of the specialties and like Argentina, the serves of meat are very large. We enjoyed a parilla on our first night in Montevideo. Most of us ordering steak and ensalada mixta. Ensalada mixta is mixed salad which we have found here only consists of lettuce and tomatoes and served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

There is a very big push to reduce salt intake and we have noticed signs in several cafés to this effect. We haven’t noticed the same concern about sugar intake. Specialties like Dulce de leche are available even at breakfast. Dulce de leche is basically a firm caramel made from condensed milk.

Every meal is an adventure when you are ordering food in a new country in an unfamiliar language. Tonight we popped around the corner for a small pizza. We asked for a ‘1/2 metre’ with Pepperoni. The waitress suggested that we order 3 different toppings. We added olives and onion. When the pizza came, it was a rectangular pizza about ½ metre long and 20cm wide. Toppings were distributed in 3 equal sections as follows: 1/3 had pepperoni, 1/3 had onion and 1/3 had olives! Not quite what we expected. As we said, every meal is an adventure.

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