One of the best kept foodie secrets, amongst the small number of foreigners who live here in Uruguay, is a weekend feast at a tiny farmhouse, run by a goat herder and his partner. Uruguay traditional food taken to another level. Be prepared for one of the most remarkable eating experiences of your life in the Uruguay countryside.
Fredy and Silvana grew up in Canelones in the countryside just outside of Montevideo. Both of them were fascinated by cooking from an early age—Fredy with cooking over an open fire and Silvana, bread-making and desserts.
At Cabaña La Mansedumbre, you get to taste the real flavours of countryside cooking in Uruguay. But this is not the Port Market with its beef, beef, beef. This is cuisine taken to another level, infused with the herbs, spices and methods of European cooking and beyond.
It’s a pilgrimage for us regulars. We reserve our spot during the week. Fredy normally already knows what’s on the seasonal menu and returns the reservation request with a list of the nine or 10 dishes we’ll be digging into. To give you an idea: first course is always a huge charcuterie plate followed by three types of french-basque escabeches. Next, hunks of recently oven-roasted porchetta. Then a typical Uruguayan pamplona roasted over an open fire (the surprise will be that it is not chicken or beef but wild boar). And only then does the melt-in-the-mouth clay-oven-roasted lamb arrive.
We enjoy the country drive from Montevideo to the charming farmhouse with its goatherd. Goat meat is never on the menu. Fredy hand-rears them and he says they are like his children. We sit at large tables and often end up chatting to other guests between courses.
Despite his aspect—a friendly farmer—Fredy is well known on the Uruguayan gastronomy scene. He’s the long time president of the national goat breeders association. Last year he presented a TV series on cooking with lamb. Uruguay is famous for its beef, but in the countryside, it’s traditional to eat lamb on a day-to-day basis. Despite its outstanding quality, townies rarely eat lamb. And that’s something Fredy is trying to change.
Everything at La Mansedumbre is sourced locally. Fredy works with local providers to transfer his knowledge—gained through study and travel—to encourage them to develop products that they otherwise never would. And we’re the lucky ones who benefit. Cheeses served in La Mansedumbre, for example, are all produced in Canelones and include smoked caciocavallo and pecorino, roquefort, feta and halloumi (buy them to take home).
Plan to feast all afternoon. You’ll want to take your time to savour every course including Silvana‘s delicious traditional desserts as well as unlimited local tannat and chardonnay. The banquet is rounded off with a shot of local grappa.
This is a place that you’ll want to return to time again, bringing family and friends, especially those who want to experience the best of Uruguay and country cuisine with truly authentic local flare. Be prepared for one of the most remarkable eating experiences of your life in the Uruguay countryside.
What you should know
- Go with an appetite and time. The delicious food just keeps on coming, and you’ll want to consume it all!
- Most of us regulars are either foreigners or Uruguayans who have travelled. We love the abundance, the excellent cooking, and the fusion of traditional Uruguayan food with international influences, particularly those from Europe, all cooked over an open fire.
- Every single ingredient is from the farm or sourced in Canelones from small producers, cultivating organically and hand-reared.
- Reservations are essential and taken by WhatsApp and Instagram.
- Between them, Fredy and Silvana speak English, Spanish and Portuguese.
- Set price per person You pay a set fee (1,750 pesos per person – apx 45 USD, under 10s half price, under 3s free) and just wait for the courses to start arriving.
- Vegetarians will love La Mansedumbre too. The vegetarian menu includes a spicy vegan tajine, selection of hand-made pastas and fire-roasted veggies. Coeliacs also have their own delicious menu.
- Your wish is their command. If you’re looking for a different menu—like you want purely traditional Uruguayan cuisine, or you want 100% international—just request.
How to get to Cabaña La Mansedumbre
It makes a great trip into the countryside for the afternoon. Just 40 minutes from Carrasco and Ciudad de la Costa, and one hour from the old city of Montevideo.
Cabaña La Mansedumbre
Ruta 6 km 38,800, Sauce, Canelones, Uruguay
Phone & WhatsApp +598 99 390 054
Open Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays
From 12:30 for lunch and from 7 pm for dinner.
Photos: Cabaña La Mansedumbre