Latin American Gastronomy: Argentinian Food

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Argentinian Cuisine
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Argentina has a whole array of types of food to offer you. It is such a large country, which is ripe with resources, livestock in particular. In addition, large numbers of immigrants in Argentina have contributed to the diversity of its cuisine, by bringing in culinary influences from other parts of the world, in particular Spain and Italy.

Let’s have a look at the sorts of dishes you would find on a typical Argentinian Menu.

Appetizers

  • Picada – A dish of cold meats, cheeses and olives, designed for sharing
  • Chorizo – the famous Spanish sausage
  • Empanadas – A stuffed bread or pastry, normally with meat, cheese and vegetables

Main dishes

  • Carne (meat), and more particularly, beef, is what Argentina is famous for. Asado is the typical main course, involving a chunks of meat roasted on the barbeque. Steaks, sausages, and ribs are all a part of this famous meal.
  • Carbonada Criolla – A beef stew from Argentina with a very unique taste. Large chunks of beef, along with tomatoes, onions, squash, sweet potatoes, corn, and even dried fruits, make up the basis for this stew, which is very popular in the winter.
  • Milanesa – This is fried breaded steak served normally with the traditional Argentinian Chimichurri sauce (we’ll come on to the ingredients later). A variation of this dish is Milanesa Napolitana, served with a slice of ham, melted mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce on the top. Despite the Italian name, it thought to have originated from a restaurant called Napoli, in Buenos Aires.
  • Costillas a la Riojana – This dish consists of a large plate of pork ribs, with onions, red peppers, and peas on the top, along with fried eggs, and fried round potatoes. Variations can be made by adding cured ham or bacon. It actually comes from Spain, where it is normally made with chicken, but Argentina has made its own by putting their stamp on it.
  • Pork and Sweet Potato Guiso Stew – A pork stew a bit like a curry, with a combination of sweet and not too spicy flavours. Common ingredients are cumin, sweet potatoes and raisins. It is normally served with rice, and if there’s any left over, it can be put in an empanada!
  • Argentinian Sorrentinos – Told you Italian cuisine had a big influence in Argentina… these are large ravioli filled with ham, ricotta and mozzarella.

Popular accompaniments

  • Chimichurri – This is probably the most popular sauce in Argentina, which is normally served with meat. It is a green coloured sauce, with the main ingredients of garlic and parsley, as well as cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, bay leaves, bell pepper, onion and tomatoes.

Desserts

  • Pionono – This is a sponge roll cake, commonly found with a filling of dulce de leche and cream, and sprinkled with sugar.
  • Dulce de leche – This is extremely popular in Argentina and used in virtually everything sweet. It is like a thick caramel sauce.
  • Pasta Frola de Dulce de Membrillo – Another example of Italian influence, this tart is a lattice pie made with shortbread-like pastry and filled with quince paste (dulce de membrillo) and often dulce de leche.