Spanish courses in River North and Lakeview
Ph: (202) 641-2151

Argentine food

Argentine food is known for its delicious steak (carne) and wines (vino), mate. Let me me explain to you why these are so important in the culture and also a very important cuisine.

First of all in Argentina as in any country of Latin America, the family is very important. Even when you are a grown adult it is very common to go every Sunday to your family house to have an asado (Agentine grill/barbecue). This argentine food called “asado” takes 1 hour to 2 hours to cook and the idea is to hang out talking and drinking Fernet and Cola waiting for the asado to cook. The Fernet is bitter and aromatic—picture bellow-. While it’s not always everyone’s favorite straight, the bittersweet, menthol stuff enhances the spice inherent in Coca Cola. It is an aperitif of Italian origin that’s massively consumed with asado,

Fernet

Why the Argentine asado is different? It is different because the cuts are very important in the steak. Depending how the butcher cuts the steak, the taste will change. There are 21 cuts in a cow and depending how you cut, cook it and how much time you dedicate to do it the best it tastes.

Argentina is well known to have very good butchers and also very good steaks. The cows eat grass and most of them they are not injected to become fat, they just eat a lot of grass (Unfortunately some people don’t it anymore). This changes a lot the flavor of the steak. Then people at home cook it for two hours with coal, yes coal, not the mini barbecue american grill (which tastes good, but differently).

Once it is cooked it is served in a big table with lots of salads. If it is hot we all eat in the patio outside next to the grill which makes it even hotter.

The family is gathered and the meal is an excuse to get together and chat every Sunday once a week. I remember, that they make you feel very very guilty if you do not attend to those gatherings. Sunday is for the family, Saturday for friends.

Also the red wine in Argentina, specially Malbecs are not only the best wine in the world because Argentinians say it or wine drinkers mentioned it, but also because it won a price in France with the best wine testers as the best red dry wine in the world. If you are a dry wine drinker this is your choice. Straight up!

Then we have other tradition the mate!!! Mate is drank in a bowl  which has herbs called “Yerba”, it is a very strong tea that has “mateina” which a small quantity of caffeine. You have to drink a lot of mates in order to feel the caffeine. You basically for the herbs on the mate pot and then you add a straw and hot water. Anyways is not so easy how it sounds, there is an actual art in preparing mate. You have to take out the green powder from the herbs and move the straw to the right or left so that the mate can breathe.

Not everyone likes mate because it has an special taste. If  you grow up with it, you love it, but not only for the taste but also because some people in the US, they say “hey let’s get a beer”, we said, “hey let’s catch up with mate”. It is a social drink that you share with everyone; your family or friends. You actually pass the same mate pot to all your friends in the table or in a park.

These are very important drinks and also food that you have to try if you ever travel to Argentina!

 

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Latin American Language Center
Lakeview

3630 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: (202) 641-2151
Email: info@lalcenter.com
River North
320 W Ohio St,
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (202) 641-2151
Email: info@lalcenter.com