mal1While preparing my recent post on my desire to return to Buenos Aires, I was reminded of two “finds” that can help me enjoy a little bit of Argentina at home any time: Malbec wines and Dulce de leche.

My friend Lynda is a wine lover and turned me on to Malbec wines before my last trip to Argentina.  As a result, I made it my mission to track down some local Malbecs while I was in Buenos Aires to bring back for Lynda, as a gift for watching after my cats while I was away.

One of the wines I brought back (complete with a hassle clearing customs while changing planes at JFK) was Don Miguel Gascon Malbec.  Lynda was thrilled and reported that is was a very nice wine.  The good news is that Don Miguel Gascon is available for sale in the United States.  However, I have to believe the bottle I brought back with me from Argentina was at least a little better.

Meanwhile, another fine Malbec from Argentina readily available in the U.S. for a reasonable price is Layer Cake Malbec.  I have often purchased Layer Cake wines in various varieties for host/hostess gifts and they have always been well received.

The other treat from Argentina is Dulce de Leche, a “sweet milk” spread or sauce that is a staple in the region and can be enjoyed as is or used on bread like peanut butter or used to spice up recipes, like a Dulce de Leche cheesecake.

On my last trip I brought back several jars of Dulce de Leche from Havanna, a Argentine purveyor of sweets.  I gave many jars as gifts and kept a few – I have one jar left which I plan on breaking out soon.  Perhaps I will make my now famous Dulce de Leche brownies.  Just use your favorite brownie recipe or mix as directed and just before baking, swirl in a few spoons of Dulce de Leche. The result is a delicious moist treat.

Dulce de Leche can be purchased in the U.S. in various forms, and I am told can be made from scratch.  But again, I have to believe the stuff I bought locally in Argentina is special.

In any case, for a little taste of Argentina any time, I endorse malbec wines and Dulce de Leche.