What Food Tells Us About Culture

16 Traditional Argentine Dishes You Need to Try

CHORIPAN 

 

In Argentina a choripán consists of chorizo sausage grilled and cut in half and put onto a baguette or crusty bread of sorts. They will usually have chimichurri on the side for you to put over it, it´s not needed but will offer a different flavour and make it a little messier.

 

Chorizos are also served with bread as an appetizer a lot of the times. Which means that you can have a choripán for lunch and dinner and not feel any bit of guilt. I try to have choripáns at every opportunity.

CHIMICHURRI

 

Argentine in its origins, chimichurri is typically made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano and white vinegar – though there are regional variations

Food historians think that chimichurri was invented by gauchos to flavor meat cooked over open fires. If so, the gauchos probably used dried herbs as fresh herbs would spoil

 

Spread it on bread, serve it with a juicy steak hot off the grill, or drizzle it on top of some whole-roasted fish — it's pretty hard to go wrong with chimichurri

EMPANADAS

 

These delicious pastries can be found all the way from the northern tip of Argentina down to the south. They actually are Spanish and Portuguese in origin, 

Empanadas are typically filled with ingredients like cheese, onion, meat, chicken, and vegetables. They're eaten as snacks as well as for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

MILANESA

Often referred to as Argentina's unofficial national dish, milanesa is a humble, yet delicious meal consisting of a breaded slice of prime beef that is fried in hot oil, curling up as it cooks, due to the fact that the chosen cuts of meat have less fat and sinew than other cuts.

 

The dish shares many similarities with the Austrian Wiener schnitzel

However, milanesa has its roots in Italy, and the original dish has been traced to the city of Milan and the famous cotoletta alla milanese.

Don´t forget to try Milanesa Napolitana

PATAGONIAN LAMB

 

If you like to eat lamb, then you have come to the right country. Cordero patagónico (Patagonian lamb) is a popular dish in Patagonia which spans across the lower parts of Argentina. In Córdoba you can find "Chivito" as well. 

Oftentimes when you're in restaurants in Patagonia, you can watch the popular dish being cooked by slowly roasting an entire lamb over an open fire. It becomes the ideal comfort food after a long hike in Patagonia or a visit to Perito Moreno, the famous glacier in Los Glaciares National Park near the southern Argentine town of El Calafate.

ASADO O PARRILLADA

 

When one pictures Argentine cuisine, meat is often the first thing that comes to mind. So while you are there, make sure to try some meat from la parrilla, an open-fire grill. 

Try the bife de chorizo, a particularly thick and juicy cut of beef steak. 

The key to the Argentine grilling process is patience. Each item is cooked slowly atop the heat of the parrilla, so the outcome is always grilled, but never dry. 

And don't forget to try the chimichurri sauce on the side, with parsley, garlic, and vinegar.

PIZZA A LA PARRILLA

 

Pizza a la parrilla (Grilled Pizza) cooked on a barbecue grill and served thin and crispy, in an oval shape on a wooden tray.

“Argentinian pizza is abundant in its amount of dough and ingredients. In Argentina,

 

The thick crusts of Argentine pizza go light on tomato sauce and compensate with loads of Argentine-style mozzarella 

PIZZA CON RÚCULA

 

While most people usually think of Italy when they think of pizza, those who have been to Argentina will most likely remember the incredible pizzas found here.

Pizza is not only popular, but an integral part of the food culture here in Argentina.

A crisp crust spread with a dense tomato sauce and thin slices of melted mozzarella featured a lush layer of peppery, prosciutto, tender-crisp raw arugula on top. Meaty, fruity olives perched on top.

 

To rethink the concept of pizza. 

SORRENTINOS

This stuffed pasta variety was invented in Argentina.  Sorrentinos are round and large and come with a variety of fillings such as different types of grated cheese, ricotta, ham, vegetables, or nuts.

There are numerous stories about the origin of sorrentinos, and though some claim that they hail from Mar del Plata, some link their origin to Buenos Aires and a popular restaurant named Sorrentino. Sorrentinos can be served with different types of tomato or cream-based sauces.

LOCRO

Locro is said to originate from the indigenous tribes living in the andes around the time of the Incan empire.  Locro spread with the people known as the Cuyo as they migrated into the north of Argentina before the colonization of the spaniards.

Locro is a thick hearty soup traditionally made with corn, squash, onions, potatoes and other vegetables and meats that the local people had to use around them. 

PROVOLETA

Argentines slap a whole new meaning to grilled cheese with provoleta.

 

Pungent and sharp, the sliced cheese is topped with oregano and chili flakes before being grilled. Grilled in a specifically sized skillet or foil, provoleta is made from cow’s milk and is topped with oregano. Good provoleta is slightly crisp on the outside, and the inside is melted. Drizzling the top with olive oil brings out the flavors.

PICADA

A picada is an appetizer consisting of a variety of cheeses and cold cuts that are meant to be shared with others over a glass of wine

For Argentines, a picada is a reason to meet. We have them in the garden, in the living room or a bar for something more substantial, with friends, talking and munching on a delicious snack. But for anyone who has not had a picada in Argentina, there are three things to know. Firstly, it mustn’t be rushed, because it’s not only about the food but also the conversation. Secondly, on the table there will be all kinds of meats and cheeses. And thirdly, wine is very important, red, white or rosé.

LOMITO

This is an extreme version of a steak sandwich – filled with thinly sliced lomo steak, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mayonnaise, chimichurri sauce, ham, cheese, and a fried egg, sandwich de lomo or lomito is a behemoth of a sandwich that is sure to satiate even the hungriest consumers.

However, this delicious sandwich is open to innovation – some might substitute the steak with pork, veggies or put aubergine slices into it, along with any other ingredient that comes to mind.  

CHIPA

 

Using manioc starch instead of corn flour. This recipe was originally from the indigenous Guaranies, but with the arrival of the Jesuits they added some new ingredients such as eggs and cheese (they used to prepare it only with water).

 

This is perfect for breakfast or for accompanying mate

 

This type of chipa is very popular in Argentina (Corrientes, Misiones, Formosa) 

SANDWICHES DE MIGA 

The popular Sandwiches de miga are typical sandwiches eaten usually at social gatherings and as afternoon snacks.

 

They probably originated from the Italian Tremezzino sandwiches and are made up of either two or three layers (known as dobles or triples) of thin crustless bread (or miga) and a variety of fillings which may include different combinations of ham and cheese, heart of palms, pineapple, anchovies, eggs, blue cheese, olives and more.

The famous tostado is a grilled ham and cheese miga sandwich that is usually served in city cafes.

GNOCCHI

 

Did you know that in Argentina, on the 29th of every month, it’s customary for everyone to eat gnocchi? To top it off, if you place a bill or coin underneath your gnocchi plate while you eat, it’s said to bring you good luck.

This Argentine custom has been a tradition since the first wave of Italian immigrants migrated to the country in 1814. Interestingly, Argentina is home to the largest group of Italian immigrants in the world. So naturally, there are a lot of traditions in Argentina that trace their roots back to Italy; gnocchi eaten at the end of the month being just one of them.

 

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