May is approaching and with it the locro season, one of the typical Argentinian recipes to celebrate Labor Day and the May Revolution by renewing the tradition and ritual of gathering with family or friends to enjoy a tasty and hearty dish and anticipate winter.
The question that arises around those dates is how much money will have to be allocated to be able to sit down at a table to eat the emblematic stew, whether it is prepared in the heat of the home or ordered in a food house.
In the first case, the minimum amount that must be available to gather the basic ingredients is 1,500 pesos. It is an economical recipe for four or six people that includes 200 grams of pallares beans, 200 grams of corn, 200 grams of white smoked bacon, 1 boiled red chorizo, 500 grams of pumpkin cubes, 2 green onions and 200 grams of cubes of vegetables such as onion, celery, leek or bell pepper.
Four days after May 1 and in view of the commemoration of the May Revolution, the demand for beans and corn in some Neuquén businesses is calm.
“People buy closer to the date. The sale goes up more for May 25, compared to the 1st. In addition, there is also the issue that people do not make it to the end of the month. Many bought in mid-April, too thinking about inflation,” said Damián from the dietetics A Granel Todo Loose, located at El Chocón 480 and San Martín 2977.
In the premises of said business, 100 grams of broken corn and pallares beans are sold at 35 pesos and 80 pesos, respectively. In other diets, these products can be around 150 pesos and 500 pesos for half a kilo, in each case.
“Many people who come from abroad buy chickpeas, which are 33 pesos per 100 grams, to make them more profitable. Others may choose the alubia bean, which is 45 pesos per 100 grams, to replace the pallares beans and save money,” said Damián.
The calculation for vegetables is around 380, 400 pesos and includes a rest for other preparations. Meanwhile, for the most valued and tasty pieces of locro – smoked bacon and red chorizo - approximately 900 pesos must be allocated, given that in neighborhood stores, 100 grams of each product is around 210 pesos and 270 pesos, respectively. while in supermarkets the cheapest brands are sold -on average- at 2,000 pesos per kilo, although you can find sausages for 1,800 pesos per kilo.
The cost becomes more expensive if you decide to add meat such as roast beef, ossobuco, brisket, pork shoulder that are between 700 and 900 pesos per kilo in some supermarkets in the city.
Locro ready to eat
Those who do not feel like turning on the burners to cook, have the option of ordering portions in different delicatessens, restaurants and gastronomic enterprises that – on average – offer the portion of locro at 1,100 pesos. It should be noted that in some places you can get more accessible options for 600 or 800 pesos.
“We invite you to bring your pots or containers to take the portions you want. We have been working with this modality for two years so as not to use disposable containers and take care of the environment,” said Andrea Porma of Sabores Nobles, who will offer portions at 1,100 pesos in her Foodtruck of the Punto Patagonia food court, located on Moritán street, corner of San Martín.
“Those who want can stay and eat there or take it with them. Our locro has some secrets so that it comes out well. Some make it half liquid, we like the pumpkin cream to be noticeable, so we make it very thick and succulent. I am professional chef and I do it with Nicolás Senas, who is a pure-bred cook. We have different styles, so we merge them,” he stressed.
“We already started with all the preparations. The mise en place is carried out the previous days: the subject of soaking the legumes, cutting them, degreasing them. For the preparation we go at dawn, around 6 or 7 in the morning to the Foodtruck on May 1,” he said, adding that the “Great locro of Noble Flavors” is made with pumpkin squash, cabutia squash, Creole squash, corn, kidney beans, Pallares beans, white mashed corn, brisket, pork skin, paws , bacon, pork breast and red chorizo, hot sauce, green, oil, parsley, paprika, sweet paprika, ground chili and fresh chili. “Our secret is to defat everything to achieve a smooth and very creamy result,” he said.