Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) share a love of good food with their fellow countrymen, so
it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a trip to the capital is a guaranteed way of encountering the very best
Indeed, this vibrant city has more than its fair
share of top-class restaurants, all of which can provide a solid education in the nation’s
most cherished dishes. Here are the eight you should be sampling.
The way to Argentina’s heart is through its asado, or barbecue Also known
as parrillada, it is a crime to 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 with 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.
To make your first experience of an Argentine parrilla
even more authentic, don’t forget to ask for Chimichurri as an accompaniment to your
meal. Rich in garlic and with a bit of
a tang (depending on the amount of chili used), this typical sauce is the perfect condiment
to go with your meat.
give whole new meaning to grilled cheese with provoleta. A consequence of the
significant Italian immigration to Argentina, provoleta is the country’s
variant on provolone cheese. Pungent and sharp, sliced discs are topped with
herbs, like oregano and chilli flakes then grilled. The nearly-melted cheese is
crispy and slightly caramelised on the outside, gooey and smokey on the
interior. Top it off with a drizzle of olive oil, or a spoonful of chimichurri.
gift from the Moors to the Spanish and finally, to the Argentineans, where this
hot, cheap and portable meal was popular amongst working classes. Like a South
American pasty, empanadas are deep-fried or baked, then filled with sweet and
savoury stuffing, depending on the province. Dessert empanadas are commonly
packed with quince jam, sweet potato paste, or dulce de leche, and sprinkled
with cinnamon, sugar or sweet raisins, as is typical in Cordoba. Savoury
empanadas hug stewed and spiced ground beef, chicken, goats meat, cheese and/or
vegetables, with the markings on the pastry fold identifying the treasures
Argentine society is very close
to Italy in many ways, but nowhere is this more evident than in its food. Pizzas, often with a thicker dough than
traditionally found in Italy, are readily available around
Buenos Aires, while pasta takes a
starring role in most restaurant menus.
Argentina traditional food typical of the north
of the country, carbonada is a hearty meal that’s
mostly served during the winter. Made from meat, potatoes, carrots, peppers and sweet
corn, topped with fruit, such as dried apricots and raisins and
cooked over a barbecue in a
hollowed-out pumpkin, this stew yet again proves the country’s love of a parrilla.
Argentinians also have
an extremely sweet tooth. Dulce de leche, a paste made of
caramelized condensed milk, is the national addiction and takes its most typical form as
the filling for alfajores.
Two cookies are sandwiched
together using dulce de leche and the whole construction is dipped in chocolate or shredded coconut to
make a delicious snack.
A typical breakfast or
mid-morning bite, media lunas take their inspiration from France and the ubiquitous croissant.
Baked from butter or lard pastry
(with the former much sweeter in flavor), they are brushed with a sugar glaze and eaten in the
morning with a coffee.
pre-requisite before any football match, a go-to amongst taxi drivers, and a
mainstay at markets and from street vendors, choripán is the ultimate
Argentinean street food. Made with pork and beef chorizo cooked over charcoal
or wood flames, the sausage is grilled then butterflied down the centre, topped
with chimichurri, and served between slices of crusty bread. Depending on the
province, caramelised onions, pickled aubergines, green peppers and a host of
other condiments are also added. Another gaucho tradition the choripán has
experienced a rural-to-urban shift that has placed it firmly on the country’s