Argentina is one of the world's major food suppliers. It is a major producer of beef, wheat, corn, milk beans, and soybeans. Argentine cuisine evolved distinctly from the rest of Latin American cuisine because of the heavy influence of Italian, Spanish, French and other European cuisines.
Much like New Yorkers, Argentines dine late and always with much conversation. In fact, tertulia, as the rhythmic art of conversation is known, includes many hand gestures, passionate ideas and makes heavy competition for quiet, reserved eating. Spaniards would feel at home in Argentina, as the evening repast typically occurs much later than 9:00 PM, even during the week.
If you ever visit Buenos Aires, pay a visit to the area known as La Boca. This is the section where Italians from Liguria first settled, and while it contains Bohemian studios and warehouses now, it also boasts pastas and pizzzerias. Of course, pastas and Italian food are found on virtually every menu in Argentina. Matambre, a dish which means "to kill hunger" is reminiscent of the Italian rolled, stuffed flank steak, though infinite variations on this theme can be found.
Churrascarias are restaurants that serve only grilled foods. For a true sampling of Argentina's grilling passion, order a "parrillada"—that is, if you are not a vegetarian. Be hungry, though, for this multi-course meal typically includes grilled sweetbreads, sausages, kidneys, salad and as the main course, a large grilled steak of the most tender, succulent meat you have ever encountered. In some churrascarias, you can point at spit roasted pork, goat, lamb and beef, to create a sampler to suit your palate. The best way to work off such an extravagant meal? Why, the tango of course! Vamanos!
from Kate's Global Kitchen
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This page modified January 2007
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