Wandering through Wimbledon Village over the Easter weekend, it was with great delight that we discovered 'Chango' an Argentinian cafe, serving up 'empanadas' and 'alfajores'.
|Does that sign really say empanada? Let's go in1|
Empanadas were a staple part of our diet while we travelled around South America on our 7 month career break in 2014. They vary from country to country, but I was particularly pleased to find that in most places you could find veggie options, usually involving cheese.
The Italian influences in Argentina meant a very tasty mozzarella, tomato and basil option. There is a particular place in my heart for this particular type of empanada, as our lovely Air BnB host in Mendoza ordered some for delivery when we arrived at his place, quite late at night after a very long and much delayed journey from Valparaiso.
So, to find mozzarella, tomato and basil empanadas available (amongst an array of meat options) in the high street in Wimbledon Village, not far from where we live, was really quite a treat. And for £10 for 5, we tucked in, had our fill and were transported back across the Atlantic. They were delicious and authentic.
We were then even more delighted to discover that the cafe also sold alfajores - a sweet biscuit treat, usually involving dulce de leche (a caramel spread). We first tasted one in Chile and our time in Chile and Argentina was spent trying to find the best alfajor. Continually unconvinced that we'd found it, our quest continues, meaning we keep having to try them all.
|My first ever alfajor, Valparaiso 1st June 2014|
In this Wimbledon shop, we went for a milk chocolate coated one and a white chocolate coated one. I preferred the milk chocolate one, but both were delicious. However, I'm still not convinced that either were the best ever and there were a few others on sale that we'll need to go back and try, I think.
The cafe itself was cosy and wooden panelled with almost an alpine feeling to it. We particularly liked the stool coverings made from traditional South American style textiles. And the Spanish from the other customers in there at the time made it feel all the more authentic.
We'll definitely be back!
Chango has a shop in Richmond as well as on the high street in Wimbledon Village. They also regularly sell their products at markets across London or you can order online (although you need to order quite large quantities if you want a delivery). For more information, visit http://chango.co.uk/