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A trip to Argentina is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some serious feasting. Make sure to seek out these traditional dishes.

May 19, 2021

1. Asado

The way to Argentina’s heart is through its asado, or barbecue, also known as parrillada. Don’t leave the country without spending a leisurely afternoon beside the warmth of a grill or open fire, feasting on copious grilled meats. This is the national dish, originating from the country’s gauchos, or cowboys, who would subsist on the abundant cows dotting the country’s plains. Expect to find beef, pork, ribs, sausages, blood sausages and sweetbreads hot off the fire. In Patagonia, look out for a whole lamb or pig roasting over an open flame. Lightly salted, topped with chimichurri and paired with malbec – this is Argentina.

2. Dulce de leche

Cows roaming Argentina’s expansive grasslands have not only provided the country with phenomenal beef, but also dairy. And it’s from condensed milk that Argentina gets one of its culinary treasures, dulce de leche. Loosely translated as ‘milk jam’, this thick caramel is the result of condensed milk being slowly reduced until sweetened and sticky. Look for it in everything from alfajores and dessert empanadas to another national favourite, helado (ice cream) over which it is liberally drizzled and downed by the kilo.

3. Alfajores

Argentina is said to be the world’s largest consumer of alfajores, crumbly shortbread-like biscuits sandwiching jams, mousses or dulce de leche.

4. Empanadas

Similar to an American turnover but far more versatile, an empanada is a fried or baked pastry shaped like a crescent moon. Once the bread has been made with flour dough or corn flour dough, it's then stuffed with different fillings depending on the occasion and your taste.

8. Mate

It´s more like a drink. But it deservs to appear in this article. A herbal- and caffeine-infused drink, you’ll find it filling everything from to-go cups to shallowed-out squash gourds across the country. Leaves from the yerba mate plant are dried, chopped and ground into a powder, or steeped as whole leaves into hot water. Drinking yerba mate is a social practice and the gourd, fitted with a metal straw that doubles as a sieve, is often passed around a group, each person sipping before passing.



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