Top Argentine eats and treats
Take a look at some of the top eats and treats throughout Argentina!
Argentineans are famed for having a high protein diet with beef forming a particularly large part of the national cuisine. The country is known for the quality of its beef and on average each Argentinean will consume 55 kg every year! Steak and barbecued beef are massively popular and can be found on the vast majority of Argentinean menus. Parrillas are restaurants that specialise in steak.
All that meat needs a sauce to help wash it down and in Argentina the sauce of choice is the Chimichurri. This tangy sauce is also used as a marinade and is made of minced garlic, oregano, olive oil, parsley and red or white vinegar. A common variation on the sauce includes red bell pepper and tomato although lemon, paprika and cilantro are other ingredients sometimes incorporated.
Dulce de leche
Literally translated this means ‘candy of milk’. Sweetened milk is heated slowly to create a rich, sweet spread or sauce. In Argentina it is a national food, served with ice cream and puddings or as a filling for cakes or pancakes. Alfajores, for example, are shortbread biscuits sandwiched together with liberal quantities of dulce de leche.
Mate is one of Argentina’s traditional drinks. To make it the dried leaves of the yerba mate plant are infused in hot water. In order to make the bitter natural flavour more palatable mate can be flavoured with herbs or sweetened with sugar. A metal straw known as a bombilla is often used to drink mate and the beverage is a large part of Argentinean celebrations.
Empanadas originated in Galicia and Portugal but have become hugely popular in South American nations. They are simply dough stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables which are then deep fried. Variations of the recipe have existed since the early sixteenth century. In Argentina empanadas are commonly served at festivals and parties as well as in restaurants. The dough is typically made of beef drippings and wheat flour with chicken as the most common filling.
In Argentina medialunas are a breakfast staple. They are very similar to French croissants and derive their name from their half-moon shape. Often they are coated with a butter-based sweet glaze (de Manteca) but they can also be coated with the not sweet lard-based medialuna de grasa.
The Argentinean Milanesa is a breaded and fried seasoned fillet of meat. It is very similar to the American chicken fried steak except more thinly coated. Common meat options include chicken, beef and veal. If the fillet is topped with tomato and mozzarella cheese it becomes Milanesa a la napolitana after the Argentinean pizzeria credited with creating it.