One topic friends from home always ask about Argentina concerns food. What type of food is popular there? Is it spicy? What are things I must try? While I won’t claim to be an expert on the culinary scene, I can provide a general guide to what you should expect and put on your list to include in your Argentina tour. Let’s begin!
First of all, let’s just get straight that you’re not going to find anything spicy here. As a general rule, most locals hate anything spicy, so don’t expect to satiate your need for fiery foods here. Of course, there will be the odd Mexican restaurant around that you can visit in bind, but for the most part, it’s not happening. Argentina is cattle country, so if nothing else, be prepared to encounter A LOT of meat. It’s not just beef. Pork & chicken make regular appearances as well. Here, multiple parts of the animals are cooked also, so get ready to try some new things. If you can get yourself invited to a local asado (or cook out), it’s a wonderful way to taste quite a bit. A Parilla (a steakhouse) is also a great way to get your fill. These restaurants are everywhere in Buenos Aires, so the only problem is deciding on which one to choose. On the menu, you’ll likely see Parilla para uno or dos, which means a grill filled with meat for one or two people. Usually, this will include various cuts of beef, chorizo, a piece of chicken, morcilla (blood sausage), intestines and sweetbreads. It’s a great way to taste it all. If you’d like to just concentrate on on large piece of tender meat, try the lomo (tenderloin) or Ojo de Bife (ribeye).
For the person with a sweet tooth, this is going to be your heaven. Argentines love their sweets and understandably so with all the delicious items on offer. Don’t expect eggs for breakfast, it’s all about the sugar in the morning. Facturas, or sweet rolls, can be found in tons of bakeries lining the streets. Basically croissants prepared 100 different ways with jellies, glazes and sugar coating line the walls. Dulce de leche is practically the country’s official flavor. It’s cooked milk and sugar, and tastes like a version of caramel. Use it to spread over pastries or cook into baked goods. Alfajores are a wonderful way to try a bit. They are the favorite cookie of the country. There are lots of versions here, but it’s traditionally two biscuit cookies sandwiching dulce de leche in the middle and covered with chocolate all around. Finally, the ice cream! Oh my, the ice cream! Thanks to the heavy Italian influence of the settlers here, we now enjoy the creamiest, most delightful ice cream that might exist anywhere.
Craving a simple snack? Empanadas will hit the spot! These little folded pockets of goodness usually contain beef, chicken, ham & cheese, or spinach. Some several boutique empanada shops have popped up that have about 30 different concoctions of empanada genius. A personal favorite of mine is La Buena Cocina.
We’ll need to cover drinks, of course, so keep watch here as we continue with the drink portion this week. Enjoy some great shots below from our Pinterest page.