In our Spanish podcast this week, we talk about…
La Semana de la Dulzura
In Argentina, the first week of July is La Semana de la Dulzura. (the week of sweetness) or La Semana de la Golosina (the week of sweets/candies). From the 1st to the 7th of July, if you give someone a chocolate, they are meant to return the favour with a kiss.
What first started as a marketing campaign by food company Arcor in 1989 has now grown in popularity and has become part of Argentine culture.
Arcor takes its name from the first letters of the words of the town where it was first founded “Arroyito”, and the region it was founded in “Córdoba” and is now one of, if not the, largest companies in Argentina. It owns many different brands and sell everything from pasta, tinned tomatoes and fruit, but particularly confectionery.
“A sweet for a kiss”
The recent tradition of trading a chocolates for kisses is well known in Argentina but, as far as we know, has not caught on in other countries so let us know if you have heard of something similar elsewhere.
You can buy chocolates at some of the many kioscos that are on nearly every street corner of Buenos Aires.
We also talk about some of the other most popular sweets from Argentina:
Bon o Bons
These are the original sweet-for-a-kiss treat. The traditional ones are wafer balls with a peanut crème filling, covered in chocolate. They now come in different kinds – white chocolate etc. Apparently they are exported to more than 70 countries, but still 30% of them are eaten in Argentina.
These are basically slightly smaller M&Ms – also made by Arcor.
One of the most typically Argentinian sweets, they are basically small cakes, usually made from two round biscuits with dulce de leche or jam between, and coated with chocolate.
The most traditional ones are made with chocolate and dulce de leche, but now there are all sorts of alfajor. Some even come with three layers, like a club sandwich for dessert!
Silvina’s favourites are El Capitán del Espacio, which have a little spaceman logo on the wrapping. My favourites were the torta style ones – layers of cake rather than dulce de leche, and all covered in chocolate.
This is popular around Christmas time and is like a cross between nougat and peanut butter. A kind of sweet, semi-solid peanut paste (probably better than it sounds!). At Christmas, they also sell them in baldes (buckets)…
Another popular marca (brand) of chocolates:
These are two chocolate hearts, which come with a little papelito with a cursi (which translates roughly as corny; cheesy; kitsch; cutesy or twee) sayings, like you might find in birthday cards (this was the definition we struggle to find in the podcast!).
There are many other types, but these are the ones that come up in our podcast episode. Listen to the full version below (as ever, it is exclusively in Spanish)…
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Have you heard of anything similar to La Semana de la Dulzura in other countries? Which is your favourite Argentinian treat? Let us know in the comments below.