Argentina is famous for it’s meat and gauchos. You can have the most delicious pieces of meat you’ve ever eaten. Trust me, I have never had steak as good as I did in Argentina. When I was visiting I actually was not eating meat at home but knew I could not go to Argentina and not feast on the local cuisine. I was talking to a local and told them at home I was a vegetarian his reply was ” I would be too”. But you can not be one in Argentina.
Discover Argentina and its mysteries through the prism of gastronomy! Bon appétit!
The Kingdom of Cattle
If you have a brief stay in Argentina, you shouldn’t miss out on tasting Argentinean meat. The country is full of fields and cows, and the gaucho (the Argentinean cowboy) culture and landscapes of the Pampa contribute to the Argentinean national identity and give to Argentina this delicious meat which has made Argentinean gastronomy famous.
The most famous piece of meat is the bife de chorizo (rib steak), which is a long piece baked for one to two hours. The lomo (chunk of meat) is an enormous piece which is sure to satisfy the hungriest of appetites. Then, there are many little pieces that complete these two bigger pieces. The vacío, for example, is a high-quality greasy piece. The matambre is a roll stuffed with vegetables, which is perfect for accompanying the ribs. Finally, the chorizo (sausages), the achuras (offal) and the morcilla (black pudding) will be served as an appetizer.
The meat is cooked in a parilla, which is a traditional grill. A big fire is prepared and a bed of embers is created beneath the meat. The traditional asado is ideal for BBQ’s in the summer.
The Creole Cook
But, there is not just cow meat in the Argentinean cuisine. There are a lot of regional dishes with more typical Andean flavours. The locro, for example, is a dish with heavy stew with bacon, beans, pig’s intestine, pork trotter and corn. This dish comes from the northwest of Argentina and is served in a clay dish.
The Tamal is a speciality from Salta, the biggest city in the Argentinean Northwest. It is made from a paste with a mix of hardboiled egg, onions and raisins. Then, the dish is wrapped in a corn husk and served. It’s ready to eat, and it serves as a great appetizer!
The Argentinean wine
What can you drink with great Argentinean food? Argentinean wine, of course! The famous Malbec from Mendoza is a robust red wine which has made Argentina’s wine famous. It goes perfectly with the matambre and the lomo ! Moreover, the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Northwest region is also a high quality choice for the meat asado.
If you prefer white wine, the Torrontes from the Cafayate region is quite unique. It has tropical fruits notes and it looks like the Alsatian Gewurztraminer. It’s perfect to accompany all of the Andean dishes and to intensify the rustic flavours.
Let’s not forget this treat! One of my favorite snacks. It is a pastry dough filled with anything you want, meat, cheese, beans, veggies. Baked and served! While in Argentina I took a class on making them and then we feasted. Best class I ever took.
A popular dessert in a lot of South American countires, it goes great with some coffee. I may or may not have brought back a ton of boxes with me when I returned home.
It is two cookies made with cornstarch to give it its smooth texture and usually held together by dulce de leche it is a treat that will satisfy anyone.
This of course is only the beginning of Argentinean cusine. Want more info on Argentina and its food? Check out Argentina Excepcion!