There are all kinds of travelers. Those who seek adventure, others who love sightseeing. And then there are the foodies! Foodie travelers, incited from their taste buds, choose to explore the culture of each country through their traditional flavors. This time, our palate will travel all the way into the secrets of Argentinian cuisine. Inspired by European cuisine, with Spanish, Italian and French influences, Argentinian food has a distinctive Mediterranean flavor. Particularly known as a meat and especially beef country, Argentina serves a variety of carnivore recipes. Succulent meats, hearty stews, spicy sausages, drool-worthy desserts, and a blooming street food scene, are just a sample of what you should expect. Hungry already? These are the top 14 traditional food that you should definitely not miss once in Argentina!
Traditionally served to commemorate Argentina’s May Revolution on May 25 but also as a cure for the cold winters, locro is considered a national dish. It’s about a thick, hearty soup made from a combination of corn, beans, potatoes and/or squash and some form of meat, seasoned with cumin and bay leaf. Usually, it’s served with a splash of chimichurri, a typical hot sauce made from paprika, onions, chili, garlic, parsley and other herbs smothered in olive oil.
Address: Calle Posadas 1515, Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: El Sanjuanino
Buenos Aires: 3-Hour Gourmet Food Adventure
Duration: 3 hour
2. Asado & parrillas – traditional Argentinian barbecue
Asado isn’t really the name of a particular dish but it’s mostly used to describe the traditional event of the Argentinian barbecue, largely common between families and friends in the weekends. It’s also used to describe the method of grilling. Asado’s meat parade consists of heaping platters with appetizers, chorizo and morcilla (Argentinian sausages) and meat galore, placed on parrillas (Argentinian word for a grill) and cooked low and slow until they fall apart into delicious tenderness.
Address: Calle Guatemala 4699, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: Don Julio
Jam-packed with flavors, these stuffed dough pockets are a must if you want to take a bite from Argentina’s street food culture. The most common filling is, of course, minced or sliced-by-hand beef, seasoned with cumin and onion. Other varieties may come stuffed with chicken, sweet corn, cheese and ham or veggies.
Address: Avenida Pueyrredon 1508, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Webpage: La Cocina
Empanada Making Class and Market Tour in Buenos Aires
Duration: 6 hours
4. Choripan – chorizo sandwich
This is the Argentinian hot-dog. Named out of its ingredients which are chorizo and pan (bread), Choripan is one more proud example of Argentina’s street food scene. Cheap and delicious regardless its simplicity, it’s topped with fresh and spicy chimichurri.
Address: Calle Thames 1653, Thames Y Pasaje Santa Rosa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Don’t you feel like you need something sweet now? Dulce de Leche is nothing more than sweetened milk cooked in low heat until it’s caramelized. For Argentinians, it is the go-to ingredient to top, fill or accompany almost any other kind of dessert. But with no arguments, the most popular use of this sweet and sticky confection, is the South American version of the Italian gelato, the so-called, Dulce de Leche Helado. Creamy, smooth with rich caramel flavor and aroma, exactly what you need to wash down all the above finger-licking meat dishes.
Address: Avenida Corrientes 1695, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: Heladeria Cadore
Puerto Iguazu: The Argentine Experience Gastronomical Dinner
Duration: 4 hour
6. Fainâ - Argentinian pizza
Highly influenced by their Neapolitan cousins, Argentinian’s love pizza and they serve the cheesiest in the world! They follow three simple rules. Thick crust, light sauce and loads of cheese, dripping down the side of each slice. Toppings include green olives, oregano, and dried chili flakes. If you want to eat your pizza like a local, then order a slice of fainâ to go with it. Fainâ is a crunchy, thin flatbread and it’s made from chickpea flour. Served in slices, its purpose is to be set on top of the pizza as a crunchy top layer. Doubles as an edible tissue to absorb the fat drippings from the extra cheese.
Address: Avenida Corrientes 1369, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: Los Inmortales
7. Milanesa – Argentinian schnitzel
Known to the rest of the world as escalope or schnitzel, milanesa is another Argentinian dish with Italian influence, often served for lunch. Made from pounded beef or chicken, covered with breadcrumbs, you can try it fried or baked. The variety of toppings is what makes this dish special, ranging between fried eggs, cheese, ham and tomato sauce, served with fries and/or salad.
La Pulperia del Cotorro
Address: Pepiri 400, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Webpage: La Pulperia del Cotorro
8. Provoleta – grilled cheese
If you are a cheese lover, then you definitely have to try Provoleta. It’s simply a thick, round slice of provolone cheese put straight on the grill in a skillet until it turns into a gooey goodness with a slightly crisp and browned top on the outside. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano and red crushed pepper is usually served as an appetizer to an Argentinian asado.
Address: Costa Rica 4528, Buenos Aires, Argentina
9. Humita en chala – a flavorsome corn snack
Similar to the Mexican Tamales, Humita is the ultimate celebration of corn. Made of creamed corn, onion, spices, and goat cheese, wrapped in corn’s husks (chala), and then steamed or boiled, Humita serves both as a savory snack or a main dish.
1810 Cocina Regional
Address: Mendoza 2312, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: 1810 Cocina Regional
10. Medialunas – Argentinian croissant
Literally translated as half moons, Medialunas are of course influenced by the well-known French croissant we all love, yet they are more, dense and gooey. Medialunas are either, grasas (salty) or manteca (slightly sweet) and they’re usually served for breakfast or as a condiment alongside coffee in bakeries and coffee shops.
Address: Montevideo 1690, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: Dos Esqudos
11. Chimichurri – uncooked sauce or condiment
Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce made with finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, red chili flakes, olive oil, and vinegar. This sauce is a staple in Argentina barbecues and can also be used as a marinade or as a table condiment. There are two versions of chimichurri: green and red. Chimichurri rojo (red) contains red bell peppers and tomatoes to give it that red color. For a spicier kick, some add chili flakes or fresh chili in them. Chimichurri has a fresh, bright taste and pairs very well with beef. When having steak in Argentina, you have to try it with chimichurri.
12. Alfajores – cookie sandwich with dulce de leche
Alfajores are a soft, crumbly cookie sandwich typically with dulce de leche or manjar blanco as a filling. These cookies are deliciously sweet and are made with flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, cornstarch, butter, and egg yolks. Children love eating this tasty little treat as they’re perfect for snacking.
13. Matambre arrollado – stuffed flank steak
Matambre arrollado is a popular beef dish with the ingredients varying depending on the region. The usual way of preparing it is by rolling flank steak and stuffing it with vegetables, boiled eggs, herbs, and ham. It makes for a great appetizer and even as a main dish. It has a very flavorful and savory taste. You can also enjoy it with some chimichurri.
14. Yerba mate – herbal tea
Yerba mate is a caffeinated tea made from the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant that is found in South America. It has the health benefits of tea plus the kick of coffee. It has a strong, earthy taste and can be a little bitter because of the plant’s high tannin content. It is usually drunk using a special, stainless steel straw called a bombilla.
Take a bite from everything
Diet isn’t a thing you should worry about while exploring Argentina’s traditional food. From the hearty asado gatherings and the gooey provoleta to the sweet perfection of medialunas and dulce de leche, it’s a mouth-melting experience you should not miss.
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