Eat Well and Rest Easy

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Eat Well and Rest Easy

Surrounded by pampas, fertile farmland, and the strong Italian influence that pervades much of Argentina, Córdoba has a restaurant scene that stresses good fresh products and pride in one's culinary work; what Córdoba's restaurants lack in trendy innovation they make up for with flavor. When Argentines vacation in Córdoba their friends at home expect just one sample of this flavor in return: a box of alfajores, the national cookie. The alfajores cordobés, the Córdoban variety, have soft dough and come filled with homemade jam or dulce de leche (sort of like caramel) and dipped in a thin white frosting. There are hundreds of local varieties: many vendors will let you sample their goods. Other homemade foods are also high on the list of must-haves: organic honey, jams from every fruit under the sun, cheeses and salamis, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Córdoba's hotels have long been aimed at domestic holidaymakers in high season, and the resort towns like Villa Carlos Paz, Villa General Belgrano, and La Falda are swarming with them. There are other options and they're very good. In the last few years a network of estancias has grown up that might be 19th-century mansions or purpose-built top-class accommodation, all with huge estates to roam and most with their own horses for guests to ride. In the city are efficient and comfortable business hotels, and elsewhere are grand old idiosyncratic buildings converted into boutique hotels with first-rate service.

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