|A Culinary Journey in Argentina|
When we think of Argentina, our mind immediately travels to the pampas, conjuring up images of the huge herds of cattle that produce some of the world's best beef. Cattle raising is carried out intensively here: in this ocean of grass and vast fields of wheat, corn, sunflowers and alfalfa, these noble bovines can graze to their heart's content before eventually ending up under the gaucho's fork. Beef is popular throughout Argentina in all its form, including:
But Gauchos prefer it as a mixed grill with Parilladas or Asados - cooked over the coals you'll find tenderloin, rib steak, sausage, chorizo, veal sweetbreads - served in enormous portions accompanied by chimichurri, an Argentinian condiment made with 22 different spices.
But on the Patagonian coast, livestock raising is centered more around sheep and lamb. However, Argentinians are fond of more than just ranch-raised meat. They also enjoy fish and game. Remember that Argentina is a country of former immigrants who came in large part from Europe; the culinary traditions of their countries of origin have been adapted and amalgamated into Argentina's cuisine.
Let's cross the country to discover a few specialties:
The Tropical North
Besides the region's famous beef, lamb and rabbit are also common ingredients in local dishes:
Almost 70% of Argentina's wine comes from this region, with an annual production of 10 million hectolitres.
The Mendoza region is the biggest wine-producing area in Latin America, and includes 1221 properties, some of which are among the largest producers in the world.
The principal varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Chardonnay, Chenin, Ugni Blanc and Riesling. To accompany your wine-tastings, here are a few specialties from the Andes:
Patagonia and Terra del Fuego
Don't miss trying the galettes in the Puerto Madryn and Gaiman regions and the many fruit jellies.
Did you know that Argentina consumes almost as much beef as the United States? Keep in mind that the population of Argentina is only about 34 million, compared to 230 million in the US!
Buen apetito from the land of the gauchos!
Maté, a traditional Gaucho drink, is an infusion of Hierba de Maté, grown mainly in the Corrientes and Misiones regions, and is drunk hot or cold with pipettes, usually silver-tipped, from a calabash or ornate silver maté vessel.
Hints & Tips