Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Argentina's inflation rate has reached 100%, and the restaurants are crowded

 THE BUENOS AIRES: In a restored art nouveau culinary masterpiece, wine glasses clinked. Beet tartare, pan-seared squid, and a flawless rib-eye floated out of the kitchen at tasting night in the more than century-old coffeehouse turned restaurant at the former Buenos Aires zoo, followed by a luscious chocolate mousse.

Pedro Diaz Flores, co-owner of the Aguila Pabellon restaurant, which is the 17th food establishment he has opened in Buenos Aires in the past 18 months, stated, "We are betting hard on the opportunity of the food scene in Argentina." A culinary scene of world-class quality is thriving in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. If it weren't for the extraordinary financial crisis that Argentina is currently experiencing, that wouldn't necessarily be news. The street value of the Argentine peso has plummeted, falling by about 25% over a three-week period in April, making it the fourth highest rate in the world.

However, the upswing in the restaurant industry is being fueled by the depreciation of the peso. The middle and upper classes are eating out more frequently as a result of Argentines' eagerness to eliminate the currency as quickly as possible, and restaurateurs and chefs are investing their profits in new restaurants. “Crisis are opportunities,” restaurant proprietor Jorge Ferrari asserted.

Since 2015, a sample of restaurants in Buenos Aires have been keeping track of the number of plates sold each month in an effort to promote the city's culinary scene. According to the most recent data for April, restaurant patronage is 20% higher than when it was at its highest point in 2019, prior to the pandemic. The boom is just a show. Hunger is on the rise and Argentines are barely scraping by in a lot of the country. The flurry of outings seen in wealthier areas is a sign of a shrinking middle class that is choosing to live in the here and now because their money may not be worth anything in the future. Ferrari stated, "It is consumption for satisfaction — happiness in the moment."

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