What do the Argentines eat?
Many dishes of Argentine cuisine can also be found in other Latin American countries, such as empanadas. These filled dumplings are sold all over the street. You can find a recipe for empanadas in the participation tip !
Meat is always an important part of the meal. The beef is typical for Argentina. Cattle have been bred for a long time and Argentinian steaks are also very popular in Europe. Beef is also cheap in Argentina. Recently, however, a lot of chicken has also been eaten.
Particularly popular in Argentina is the meat roasted over an open wood fire – i.e. grilling. It’s called Asado here. People like to use the Parrilla, a grill, whose grill bars prevent dripping onto the embers. An asado is often organized with family and friends, especially on Sunday lunchtimes. Usually there are several types of meat and sausages, and salads are served with them. The sauce is Chimichurri, which is made from many herbs, pepper, oil and vinegar.
Locro is a stew made with corn. There is also meat and other vegetables. Locro is considered the national dish of Argentina. It is an ancient indigenous dish. Quiquirimichi is sometimes served with the stew. It’s a red and very hot sauce.
Pizza and pasta – the Italian heritage
Because so many Argentines have ancestors from Italy, typical Italian dishes spread. This is how you get pizza, pasta or farinata, a kind of pancake. Gnocchi are also included. There is a custom of eating gnocchi on the 29th of every month. To do this, you put money under your plate – that should bring luck and more money in the next month!
Drinks: Mate tea
Mate tea is one of the most popular drinks in Argentina. It is made from the dried leaves of the mate bush. By the way, mate was originally just the name for the drinking vessel. This is made from a pumpkin that is dried and then becomes hard as wood. This is called calabash. Mate is drunk anytime and anywhere, in the park, on the bus or at work. Traditionally it is drunk with a bombilla from the drinking vessel and passed on. The mate tea is poured cold to make tereré. Mate is not yet for children, because like coffee it contains caffeine.
Breakfast – Desayuno
For breakfast there is coffee for the adults and cocoa for the children. Incidentally, the best way to do this is to eat a Medialuna. This is a croissant or croissant that is spread with butter. Or there is a piece of white bread with dulce de leche. This translates as “sweets made from milk” and it is a caramel cream. They are eaten as a topping on bread, but also as a filling for cakes or to sweeten puddings and other desserts.
And for dessert? Mazamorra!
A typical dessert in Argentina is mazamorra. To get more information on Argentina and Latin America, check cancermatters. It is made from white corn, plus milk, water, sugar and vanilla. Other popular desserts are of Italian origin, for example tiramisu and panna cotta. Ice cream is also very popular.
Mate tea is consumed everywhere in Argentina. Often you see people sitting in the park with a thermos and a mug of mate tea. It is made from the dried leaves of the mate bush. Traditionally it is drunk with a bombilla from the drinking vessel and passed on.
Lunfardo is a modification of the Spanish language as it originated among the immigrants around 1900. The Italians in particular used words from their mother tongue and adapted them to Spanish. An example is the word for “eat”. In Lunfardo it is called manyar and is derived from the Italian mangiare, in Spanish it is called completely different, namely comer.
A special peculiarity is the reversal of syllables: Feca is then actually café, gotan the tango and noche (night) suddenly becomes cheno… So it almost becomes a secret language! Try it out yourself, it works in German too!
Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009) was an Argentine singer who was also known in Europe. Her songs were directed against war and dictatorship and she stood up for the rights of the Indians and peasants. She was arrested in 1979 during the military dictatorship. She eventually went into exile in Madrid. After the end of the dictatorship, she returned. She is a representative of the “New Song” (Nueva canción) in Latin America: political songs with folk music.
Here you can hear a song by Mercedes Sosa. It is a lullaby for children that is very popular in South America. It is called “Duerme negrito”.