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The Mighty Alfajore: A Taste Test

Pass it along:

Forget candy bars, Alfajores are a national obsession here in Argentina. Originating in the Middle East then transforming once in Spain and again in Argentina, the modern Alfajore is a large cookie filled with dulce de leche (sometimes mousse or jam) and usually covered in chocolate. You can buy fresh ones in bakeries and prepackaged ones in kioscos on nearly every street in Buenos Aires.

What better way to illustrate the splendid variety and deliciousness of the Argentine Alfajore then to do a taste test. You know, for journalism’s sake.

(Sometimes I love my job. Not so much when it’s 1 AM and I’m frantically trying to come up with something, anything to say because I haven’t written in a week. But other days when I come up with a brilliant idea like this, I just love my work.)

So allow me to go all fancy food blogger on you:

Terrabusi Alfajor Clasico

This Alfajor is representative of traditional Argentine Alfajores. It contained thick crumbly cookies with a thin layer of dulce de leche in between. It was a bit dry, after all 4 layers of cookie is a lot to shove into your mouth at once.

Verdict: Eat with milk.

 Cachafaz Arroz

Ugh. I was originally attracted to this one because of it’s unique square shape and the fact that it’s made with rice. Also, peanut butter!

I did not realize that “made with rice” meant that instead of crunchy cookies there would be chewy flavorless rice cakes. The whole thing felt like eating a terribly unsatisfying granola bar and that’s not what I want out of my cookie experience.

Verdict: Disqualified for being healthy and also gross.

Alfajor Oreo

Yes, Oreo makes an Alfajor, they know their markets well! And, don’t judge me, but it’s kind of my favorite. Maybe because I’ve been indoctrinated with the oreo love from a young age, but I just really like this one. The inside is all crisp chocolate cracker and white cream filling. It’s basically just a really tricked out Oreo but man is it tasty (especially frozen).

Verdict: Perfect for the American Palate.

 Cachafaz Alfajores: Dulce de Leche

This cookie was much closer to the realy “home made alfajores” that you might find in a bakery. It consisted of two pillowy sugar cookies with half an inch of dulce de leche filling. The edges had been rolled in coconut shavings.

It was probably the best looking of the bunch but was oddly flavorless and alarmingly chewy.

Verdict: Skip this, go for the real deal from a bakery.

Alfajor Jorgito

This was also one of my favorites. I have a weakness for anything crunchy and this cookie had thing crisp layers that weren’t super dry. The layers of dulce de leche were sticky but not overpowering like in some of the others. Overall this one was just very well balanced and delicious!

Verdict: Yum.

Guaymallen Tri-Alfajor

The whole point of alfajores is to be decadent but this one is serious extravagant. It’s three thick chocolate cookies, seperated by thick and sticky dulce de leche and covered in another layer of chocolate.

Verdict: Tasty, but split it with a friend.

Don’t worry, I didn’t eat these all in one sitting but over the course of a couple of weeks- I promise!

Along with empanadas and mate, alfajores are one of those foods I always associate with Argentina. I suspect I’ll get the chance to sample quite a few more before I leave. Perhaps for a follow up article…

19 Responses to The Mighty Alfajore: A Taste Test

  1. Runaway Brit March 11, 2012 at 9:14 AM #

    Oh my gosh! I FELL IN LOVE with Alfajores when I was in Argentina. I loved the fact that they usually give them to you on long bus journeys (and the fact that my boyfriend doesn’t like them so I got his too!).

    I have to say that the best one I had was the first on your list – the Terrabussi Clasico. Mine wasn’t dry at all but absolutely divine. Maybe the one you tried had been out on the shelf too long? I got mine on the bus from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile and I got my boyfriend’s too :-)

  2. John March 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM #

    When I first read the headline of this post, I was hoping you were going to mention the Oreo Alfajor. That little cookie got me through some home sickness and long bus rides in Argentina.

  3. Alexa March 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM #

    Greatest idea for a post ever! I can’t believe I never thought to do this that whole time I was in BsAs. I’ll have to agree with your Oreo alfajor observations.. who could deny something so wonderfully familiar that’s in “foreign” form?

  4. Abby March 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM #

    So jealous that they don’t have Oreo alfajores over on this side of the cordillera! I don’t like manjar (i.e. dulce de leche) so I don’t ever eat alfajores but I would so eat the Oreo kind. I once had a mint filled one in Valdivia, it was delicious.

  5. Dana de Brito March 11, 2012 at 2:42 PM #

    Yum! The Alafajores are like South America’s macaroons. I looove them. Never tried the Oreo ones though… sounds amazing. Thanks for taste-testing them for our benefit :)

  6. Kat March 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM #

    You’ve got to try the Havana ones if you haven’t yet! They are delicious.

  7. Natalie T. March 13, 2012 at 11:24 AM #

    That’s quite the taste test!

  8. Luisa March 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM #

    My aunt made the “homemade” alfajores and Bill (my fiance) doesn’t try nothing unless he is forced to, this was one of those times. He held his breath and took a bite. Now this irish guy won’t stop eating them!! Havana IS the best alfajores I’ve ever eaten but the “triples” are good as well. I’m so jealous

    • Steph March 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM #

      haha, I mean what’s not to like about cookies and cream right? Definitely need to try the Havanas before we leave.

  9. Audrey | That Backpacker March 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

    My favourite one is the white Havana. Kind of pricey, but oh so worth it for that crumbly white sugar! :D Milka is also good.

  10. Jeannie March 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM #

    Thanks for doing the “research” hehe. I def need to stock up, I was overwhelmed by all the options!

  11. ehalvey March 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM #

    Holy nom! They look like cracked out Kimberly’s (did you try those in London? Graham cracker like crust, marshmallow, dipped in plain chocolate). There’s an Italian food shop down the road that also sells empanadas and alfajores. I may need to do my own taste test.

    • Steph March 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM #

      Somehow missed Kimberly’s will have to look for those when I go back. And YES on the empanadas and alfajores, get on it.

  12. Nahuel March 21, 2012 at 7:53 AM #

    You should try the “vauquita” alfajor, it’s just an excuse to sell you straight dulce de leche.

  13. Just Me March 28, 2012 at 5:33 AM #

    So, how come no one here knows how to spell Havanna?

    • Steph March 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM #

      Havana= capital of Cuba
      Havanna-=cookie

      Maybe I should post it at the top for reference.

  14. Charly November 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM #

    search ALFAJORES SANTAFECINOS in Google images…….. THE BEST BEST BEST BEST ALFAJOR !!!!! UUUUFFFFFFFFF

  15. Charly November 2, 2012 at 10:45 AM #

    Google images: ALFAJORES CORDOBESES are also on the podium….

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