best foods to try in Argentina
Argentina is adding to the list of tourist destinations for both young and old. Whether you’re lured by the romance of cosmopolitan city life or looking for a legendary steak, this country has a wealth of charm to suit every taste.
The way to the heart of Argentina is via asado, or barbecue, also known as parrillada. Don’t leave the country without spending a relaxing afternoon beside the warmth of a grill or open fire, feasting on grilled meats galore. It is a national dish, originating from the gauchos, or cowboys, who lived off the many cattle that dotted the country’s plains. Expect to find beef, pork, ribs, sausages, blood sausage and sweetbreads hot from the fire. In Patagonia, look for whole lamb or pork grilled over an open fire. Slightly salty, topped with chimichurri and combined with malbec – this is Argentina.
A green salsa made from finely chopped parsley, oregano, shallots, garlic, chili flakes, olive oil, and a bit of acid, such as lemon or vinegar, chimichurri is the country’s go-to condiment. This tangy, garlicky salsa is sometimes served used as a marinade, although it is most often found covering grilled meats and many other savory foods throughout the country.
Argentines give grilled cheese a new meaning with their signature provoleta dish. A consequence of significant Italian immigration to Argentina, provoleta is the country’s variant of provolone. Spicy, tangy, sliced cheese discs are topped with chili flakes and herbs, like oregano, and then grilled. The almost melted cheese is served crunchy and slightly caramelized on the outside, gooey and smoky on the inside. Top it off with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of chimichurri.
4. Dulce de leche
The cows that roam Argentina’s vast grasslands not only produce phenomenal beef, but also dairy products. And it is from condensed milk that Argentina gets one of its culinary treasures, dulce de leche. Loosely translated as ‘milk jam’, this thick caramel is the result of sweetened condensed milk being slowly reduced until it becomes sweet and sticky. Look for it in everything from dessert alfajores and empanadas to another national favorite, helado (ice cream) drizzled generously and drunk by the kilo.
Argentina is said to be the world’s largest consumer of alfajores, crumbly bread-like biscuits sandwiched between jam, mousses or dulce de leche. Alfajores’ roots lie in the Arab world, brought to southern Spain by the Moors. The Spaniards then brought the sweet to Argentina – and no one has looked back since. Similar to their national cake, Argentines enjoy these cylindrical biscuits all day long and throughout the country and click here.