“Recipe for My Favorite Merienda” by Kiana Paclibon

  1. Grab a friend, two, three, four, five… As many as you want! All it takes is one “Che, alguien quiere hacer una merienda?” Hey, does anyone wanna have a merienda? On any given day, at least one other person is going to say, “Yes! Let’s go!!”
  2. Fill a thermos with hot water. Pack at least one mate and one bombilla. Pack yerba. Bring sugar if anyone prefers their mate Bring any snacks around the house you feel like munching on.

Kiana 1

  1. If you will be heading outside, grab a tapestry or a blanket that can be used to sit on.
  1. Optional but highly recommended: Bring some pan and dulce de leche or fruit jam! If there is no bread in the house, there is an abundance of panaderías in Córdoba. Luckily, the closest one to the CASA house is only a couple blocks away.
  1. Even more optional but still highly recommended: Alfajores – sweet dulce de leche sandwiched by 2 delicate cookies form the most delightful little treat. There is an endless variety of types of alfajores. Some of my CASA mates prefer the more traditional, crunchier cookie coated with coconut shavings. My personal favorite is the soft cookie coated in chocolate. My mouth is in total fiesta mode when chocolate and dulce de leche meet. You can find alfajores in any panadería.

Kiana 3

  1. Now, where do we have merienda? There is no one, right answer! Anywhere is fine as long as you can sit with your friends, your mate, and your snacks. Every now and then we will have merienda in our living room or the house of a neighbor. Sometimes we go for a short walk to a neighborhood park. Other times we explore the sprawling public university campus, filled with artwork and grassy spaces, across the street. Some days we take a bus and venture out into the downtown, centro, where there are even more beautiful spaces.
  1. Once we arrive at a place and the table is set or our blanket is set on the ground, we seat ourselves. Now comes the time for sharing. We share our mate and our bread, our dulce de leche and our alfajores. We share stories and laughs. We make jokes and dish out the latest chisme. Sometimes passersby will join in the conversation. It is during these meriendas that my CASA mates and I often soak up the sun and watch it set while we laugh so hard our bellies ache. We catch up with each other and with our neighbors. We lose ourselves in conversations in which we share thoughts about anything and everything.
  2. When all the drinks and snacks are done or when everyone is too lleno to eat any more, we pack up. We put our trash into a plastic bag to bring to a trash bin. We bring home anything we can use for compost. We put our mate and bombilla away. We carry any leftover bread in our packs. My favorite thing about merienda is knowing we always have another one to look forward to, whether it is mañana or the next day.

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