The Top 5 Foods You Have To Try When Visiting Argentina
The food of Argentina is as important to local culture as the people themselves, reflecting the tastes of generations of European immigrants as well as the native South American cuisine that has existed for millennia. From Sunday afternoon asado with the family to the tasty street eats that power the busy urbanites of Buenos Aires, these five local specialties are the key to experiencing the authentic culture of Argentina.
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A choripan is a combination of the spicy sausage known as chorizo and a long, crusty bun or baguette, like the Argentinian version of a hotdog. The name 'choripan' derives from the two main ingredients, chorizo and 'pan', which is Spanish for bread. Choripanes are a common street food, but they are also eaten in restaurants and made at home during lunchtime asado (Argentinian barbecue).
Locro is a dish that hails from northwestern Argentina, but can be found throughout the country. It's a chunky stew of native South American origin, made with squash or pumpkin puree, beans, corn and potato. Typically, bite-sized cuts of beef or sausage are added for extra flavor and texture. There is no standard version of the dish, so recipes vary widely, but it is considered one of Argentina's national dishes and most popular during winter (from June to September).
Asado is a barbecue, and an excuse to get together, cook and share food that has been traditional in South America for centuries. In Argentina, beef is the most widely consumed meat, but some regions prefer goats or sheep for their barbecue. Ribs, sausage and flank steak are popular, but almost all parts of the animal are consumed in some way or another. Asada goes best with chimichurri, a sauce made from vinegar, garlic and herbs, which can be considered as Argentina's favorite condiment.
Dulce de Leche
Dulce de leche is a sweet, creamy confection made by heating sweetened condensed milk until the majority of the milk evaporates, leaving a thick, sticky, sweet mixture similar to caramel. Dulce de leche is spread on everything from cookies and cakes to pancakes and crepes, and can be used as a topping for ice cream or filling for pastries. The alfajor is a cookie sandwich filled with creamy dulce de leche, and is a typical bakery treat in Argentina.
Inspired by the similar dish from Italy, veal milanese, Milanesas are breaded, seasoned and pan-fried filets of meat, typically veal, beef or chicken. The most basic milanese can be eaten alone or with a small salad and potatoes (mashed or fried), but can also be dressed up with cheese, ham and tomato sauce to create the 'milanesa a la napolitana', or topped with fried egg and used for a sandwich. Milanesas are versatile, inexpensive and delicious, which has propelled them to popularity all around the country.
Argentinian cuisine is heavily influenced by Spanish and Italian recipes as well as the dishes and ingredients belonging to native South American cultures like corn and beans. This creates a delicious and exciting array of flavors and cooking styles to delight the palate. Taste these five top dishes while visiting Argentina for a tasty introduction to the culture and cuisine of the region.