Many may wonder if it is safe to eat street food in Argentina, or if there even is any readily available. Argentina’s downtown district, as most around the world has its odd hotdog cart for a quick bite. Nevertheless, what argentines love to snack on is something called garrapiñadas. Garrapiñadas are basically caramelized peanuts sold in tube like plastic bags on downtown street corners and large public transport areas such as train stations. The proprietor of the cart will stand in front of a hot plate which holds a wok-like copper pot in which sugar, water, vanilla extract and peanuts are tossed energetically.
Is it safe to eat. Fortunately the intense heat would kill all bacteria, except for one detail. The bags they are sold in are opened up by someone blowing into them. The key question being, are you willing to kiss the garrapiñada man? If so, dig in.
Fortunately other options exist, as this popular treat is also sold by mainstream candy companies in many supermarkets. A more modern version substitutes peanuts for almonds.
Making your own can be fun group activity, as it is quite easy to make with regular kitchen items.
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanuts (may be substituted for almonds)
1 cup water
1 teasp. Vanilla extract.
Combine all ingredients in saucepan over high heat. Stir constantly until liquid evaporates. Once sugar crystallizes, take away from heat and continue to stir for about 2 minutes. Then return to heat until sugar browns. Allow to cool on silicon sheet. Will keep for up to 6 months in sealed cellophane bags.
Candy Companies that make their own Garrapiñada