Ask any Porteño and they’ll tell you…Sundays when you visit anyone at their home in the late afternoon at mate time you have to stop at the local “panaderia” (bakery) of choice before and get them some “facturas” as your treat.
Facturas I guess would be the american equivalent of pastries. Facturas are a little different though…they come in all shapes and sizes and there’s a wide variety you can choose from. There are medialunas, a smaller version of the french croissant, that are made of manteca (butter) or of grasa (lard). There are churros – there’s plain ones or filled with dulce de leche (milk jam) or chocolate. YUM! Another option are the amazing Bolas de Fraile (rough translation would be the Monks’ Balls?) or also known as Berlinesas, which are large round pastries filled with thick sweet yellow cream and covered in white sugar. Pastelitos de Membrillo or Batata (sweet potato) are also a common traditional sweet treat in most latin american countries, you can find similar versions of these little cakes in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, etc.
Most of them are made of the same basic recipe of flour, sugar and egg and then baked in a large sheet in a high-heat type oven…not your recipe for weight-loss if you ask me.
Other typical possibilities are: vigilantes (elongated strips of sweet pastry filled dough), miguelitos, cañoncitos (little canons filled with dulce de leche and powdered sugar), sandwiches de miga (thin salty sandwiches made of ham & cheese, roquefort and ham, pineapple, palm hearts, cheese and egg, cheese and green olives, etc.)
At the panaderia people order no less then half a dozen or a dozen facturas (“media docena” or “docena de facturas”) and pricing is very reasonable, around $1-2 peso each, particularly in neighborhoods that are not that commercial or touristy yet. A typical scenario is getting a paper number at the door and waiting for it to be called and then a salesperson will walk around the store with you and grab the ones you want. Other panaderias have a basket where you can choose on your own and get it wrapped at the counter.
Facturas are most definitely included in the long list of things not to miss when you are away from this beautiful and great city of Buenos Aires.