Picada

You know when you're slightly hungry but really not sure what you want to eat and would love a little variety plate to nibble on?

Enter La Picada.

I'm relying a lot on Google and Wikipedia to help me explain these new dishes to the masses (by masses I mean my handful of readers.  Thank you, readers), so according to Wikipedia a picada is a Colombian dish with various meats that are usually fried and accompanied by yucca and plantain and maybe potato.

I know a picada to be essentially a meat and cheese platter in Argentina with olives and maybe some other antipasti type accouterments that are not fried.  The name picada comes from the verb picar which means to sting, to bite, to nibble on.

During my week in Buenos Aires, I dined on many picadas and always loved how satisfying it was to have many different options in front of me. My favorite picada was at El Nono Amigo Almacén.  This small neighborhood restaurant has ample outdoor seating (to be enjoyed on a lovely BA summer evening) and a large selection of meats, cheeses, and wines to choose from.  You can actually go inside and grab a bottle of wine off the wall rather than just skimming over a wine menu!  I cannot even tell you what was included in our picada because my brain was was awash in deliciousness.  If you're in BA, check this place out.  They also sell jarred olives and pickes as well as their meats (fiambres) and cheese (queso)!

Wall O' Wine at El Nono Amigo

When in Argentina, Drink Malbec.

For lunch this weekend, I made own type of picada .  I had a hodgepodge of goodies in my fridge/pantry and since I was not 100% sure what I was in the mood for, a picada would be the perfect way to get lots of flavors!

My picada:

Clockwise from the top:
1. Minneola - A popular form of Tangelo - a Tangerine/Grapefruit hybrid
2. Brazilian style chipá (definitely better on day 2!)
3.  Fresh Mozzarella
4.  Les Pains des Fleurs buckwheat cracker with Black Caraway Sesame Halva spread from Brooklyn Sesame
5. Dry Truffle Sausage from Charlito's Cocina
6. Van's new g-free multi grain crackers 
7. Blueberries
8.  A delicious Gouda cheese from Bedford Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
In the middle, Kale and Roasted Eggplant (seasoned with zaatar!)

One of the best parts of this lunch was taking the time to plan and arrange the platter.  It was an act of mindfulness.  I prepare my breakfasts, workday lunches, weeknight dinners so quickly that I hardly appreciate what I have in front of me.  Assembling this picada was an art -- combining dynamic flavors and developing the food's presentation.  Making this picada was a special experience for me and it reinforced the importance of slowing down and giving thanks to the things we have....especially delicious tasting food!

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