Guest Blog: A Taste of Argentina

While the Lovely Husband and  I are sunning ourselves on a tropical beach, our friends of Argentina Excepcion have contributed this guest blog. Enjoy!

Argentina, the Kingdom of Cattle

Argentina is undoubtedly a paradise for meat-lovers. Indeed, the gauchos’ traditions from the Pampa have led to a huge industry in cattle farming. Now, Argentinean cuisine is famous all over the world. Let’s have an overview of Argentinean gastronomy!

A Country of Carnivores

If you’re a vegetarian, you may have a hard time in Argentina. Do you know that Argentineans are the largest meat consumers in the world? On average, each Argentinean eats 65.4 kg of meat in a year. The asado (meat barbecue) is a convivial tradition held with family or friends on Sundays. It is cooked in a parilla, a traditional grill cleaned with a piece of grease. The Argentinean chef prepares a big fire under the parilla and creates a bed of embers for the meat.

Asado
A typical Argentinean Asado

Then, there are different types of Argentinean meat. The first, la tira de asado, is the longest piece, baked over one to two hours of cooking. The vacío is a high-quality piece: it’s greasy and savoury and also needs to be cooked slowly.. The matambre is a meat roll stuffed with vegetables. For the appetizer, Argentineans prefer chorizo (sausages), morcilla (black pudding) and achuras (offal).

But the highlight of the show are the two most meaty pieces of all: the bifes de chorizo (rib steak) and the lomo (chunk of meat), two enormous pieces which are sure to satisfy the hungriest of appetites. Meat is served with chimichurri: this is a sauce made from olive oil, garlic, chillies, tomatoes and sweet herbs. What do you drink with Argentinean meat? Argentinean wine, of course! A robust red wine like Mendoza’s famous Malbec or a or Cabernet-Sauvignon is perfect. Buen provecho!

Malbec
A bottle of Malbec wine from Mendoza

The Creole Cook

However, the Argentinean cook doesn’t just work with cow meat. There are many traditional dishes from other regions of the country which have very special flavours. For example, the locro is a heavy stew with corn, white beans, bacon, chorizo, pig’s intestine and pork trotter, which is seasoned with chillies and onions and cooked for two hours. This dish, which comes from the Argentinean Northwest, is served warm in a little clay dish.

Traditional Locro
A typical Argentinean Locro cooked in Salta (credits: Flickr/ Miguel Vieira)

Another dish, the Tamal, is popular in the Salta province. This meal is made from a corn flour paste which contains a mixture of onions, dried grapes and hardboiled egg. The meal is wrapped in a corn husk. This classical food with strong has a strong flavor and is a perfect appetiser.

Traditional Tamal
Traditional Tamal from the Andes

The Best Restaurants in Buenos Aires

There are many good parillas in Buenos Aires; here we have a list of our personal favourites. In Palermo Viejo district, La Cabrera is a perfect illustration of the classic Argentinean parilla, which big and tender pieces of meat. We encourage you to try its speciality, which is the Lomo. Served with thyme and chicken which has been cooked with oranges and vodka, it is a pure delight for both the eyes and the taste buds.

La Cabrera
La Cabrera Restaurant in Palermo District (credits: Facebook)

The Tegui is undoubtedly THE restaurant of Buenos Aires. If you had to remember just one, it will be this one! In a spacious setting, this locale focuses on the greatest essential: the cook. And the Chef Germán Martitegui has succeeded in managing the challenge of creating pieces of art. His desire to constantly reinvent traditional recipes shows his patrons the extent to which he wishes to surpass any new emerging trends.

Tegui
The Tegui Restaurant in Palermo

El Obrero, in La Boca district, was once a meeting point for the Italian-Argentinean workers in La Boca’s factories. Today, it has transformed into the porteños’ favourite restaurant. This restaurant has hosted both Maradona and Bono, and it has appeared in many movies. We advise you to try the Basque shank or the aubergines with escabeche. This is truly a place for an authentic Argentinean experience!

Bodegon El Obrero
Restaurant “El Obrero” in La Boca District (credits: Flickr)

More info: http://www.argentina-excepcion.com/en/travel-guide/gastronomy

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