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Argentine Cuisine


The Mediterranean and European-influenced flavours of Argentinian cuisine are heavily supplemented with meat. The people here love ribs, sausages, lamb and goat, but beef is what Argentina is famous for. The country has huge cattle ranches and the gaucho (Argentine cowboy) still exists. Beef is served in hundreds of ways, including grilled, roasted, in stews, dipped in eggs and crumbs and fried, as a mixed grill, or the most popular way: barbecued.

Asado (barbecue) is Argentina’s national dish. The grass-fed cattle (as opposed to grain-fed) produce a tastier steak that is also easier on the digestive system. This weekend ritual is performed by families across Argentina, with the steaks cooked over charcoals on an aparilla (giant grill). The meat is paired with locally produced wine and served either on its own or with chimichurri sauce.

This delicious Argentinian sauce is a combination of olive oil and spices such as garlic, parsley, chilli and cilantro. While chimichurri is usually rubbed on grilled meat, it is so versatile that it's often used in other ways as well. Slather it on bread, use it as a marinade, drizzle over roast vegetables, add a few spoons to a salad dressing, use as a pasta sauce; there are literally hundreds of ways to use this simple and utterly mouth-watering sauce. The flavour is spicy yet fresh and smooth; truly delicious.

Dulche de Leche
Dulche de leche is another national dish you're likely to eat on holiday in Argentina. This sticky, sweet, caramelised milk and sugar spread is found in nearly every pantry throughout the country, and is used much like peanut butter in the USA. Spread it on toast, smear it on pastries, drizzle it over ice cream; the possibilities are endless.

Carbonada Criolla
This unique stew mixes dried fruit like apricots and raisins with beef, tomatoes, onions, winter squash and potatoes. Though it may sound unusual, the flavours blend harmoniously to form a mildly sweet stew that is the perfect, hearty dish to serve during the chilly winter months.

Street Food

Argentina is more of a sit-and-eat sort of nation, rather than the eat-on-the-run type. You will rarely see people eating and walking at the same time, as usually they sit down to enjoy a leisurely meal. Despite this, there are a few street food vendors serving up some delicious snacks along the costaneras (boardwalks). Take your street food and enjoy it in the green areas, near the river or by the sea. Make sure to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean and fresh, as well as cooked right in front of you.

These ubiquitous Latin American savoury turnovers prepared and stuffed in a myriad of ways: cheese, mushrooms, beef, spinach, even seafood. Argentinian empanadas are typically baked, not fried, and are the perfect travelling food, with the best of the bunch made in the Salta region.

Milanesas are also typical Argentine street vendor food. Milanesas is a pounded piece of chicken or beef, breaded and fried much like a schnitzel. It's almost always served with chips or potatoes, or stuck between two pieces of bread and made into a sandwich.

This much-beloved sausage sandwich is the ultimate Argentinian street snack. The name is a clever combination of chorizo sausage and bread, and the dish is grilled and then served hot on a bun. You can buy it from vendors outside football stadiums, on Avenida Corrientes and along the Costanera.