What to Eat and Drink in… Argentina

by 20 Jun, 2016

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Argentina is famed for its red meat and red wine and whilst these are “musts” when you visit, there is a huge variety of other exciting food and drink to try. Here’s a selection of some of the best.

What To Eat In Argentina

1. Steak

Need I say more? The steak in Argentina is famous the world over and for good reason. Dozens of different cuts ranging from the familiar to ones you’ll have never heard of, try them all to find your favourite. Best when cooked on a BBQ or Parilla, this type of restaurant is everywhere so you’ll have no trouble finding a great one.

steak and chips

Steak and chips

2. Empenadas

These tasty little parcels are like mini pasties and usually come baked but are sometimes fried. Stuffed with flavour packed fillings like chicken or spinach and ricotta, order a selection and get stuck in.

empanadas

Empenadas by the boxful

3. Chorizo

Chorizo in Argentina is different to the Spanish variety in that it’s more like a traditional sausage, but it still packs a punch flavour wise. Often served in a bread roll with a bit of salsa and called a Choripan, these are highly addictive so watch out.

argentine chorizo

A grill full of Argentine chorizo

4. Tamales

Stewed meat and vegetables encased in a corn bread, wrapped in a corn leaf and steamed. Simple country style food but really delicious.

tamales

Beautifully parcelled tamales

5. Pizza

You always thought pizza was Italian right? Not if you speak to an Argentine! To be fair they are completely different to Italian pizzas, have slightly thicker bases and are loaded with awesome toppings. You can also try eating it with Finar which is a kind of chickpea cake that you put on top – unusual and tasty.

mozarella and olives pizza

Simply mozzarella and olives

6. Picada

These are like huge tapas boards with all your favourite stuff on. Cured meats, different cheeses, olives, palmitas (palm tree hearts), roasted peppers, mini salad dishes and egg frittata. Accompanied by warm bread and butter, it’s like a picnic on a plate.

picada

Picada – a picnic on a plate

7. Locro

A hearty peasant stew from the north full of corn, cheaper cuts of meat and potatoes. A warming winter dish that gets you going on those colder days.

argentine soul food

Argentine soul food

8. Ice Cream

Ice cream parlours are everywhere in Buenos Aires, and once you taste it it’s easy to see why. Whilst many are quite traditional, there are newer ones springing up which serve interesting flavours and some even make your ice cream in front of you using dry ice for an added bit of theatre.

ice cream

So big it requires a plate

9. Provoleta

Often served as a starter or as part of a Parilla, this salty, melty, oozy cheese may not be the healthy option but it’s definitely worth the sin.

melted cheese

Bubbling melted cheese

10. Dulce de Leche

This super sweet, caramel-like substance is the ubiquitous ingredient in Argentine desserts. Used in everything from pastries and cakes to ice cream and biscuits, it’s also often eaten by the spoonful straight from the tub!

dulce de leche tiramisu

Dulce de Leche Tirimisu

11. Milanesa

Thin flat escalopes of beef, pork, chicken or veal, breaded and then fried. What’s not to love?! A great Argentine variation on this is the Milanesa a la Napolitana which has ham, tomato and melted cheese on top – great comfort food.

bad boy sandwich

Nicknamed the “bad boy sandwich”

What To Drink In Argentina

1. Red Wine

Of course!! There are thousands of varieties to try, the most popular being Malbec. The house wine in restaurants is often served in “penguinos” which are ceramic carafes in the shape of a penguin and are usually still of a good standard. They also make great white wines and sparkling wines on a par with champagne so do give those a try as well.

red wine

Cute pinguino

2. Fernet

This is an acquired taste but wildly popular amongst Argentines. Often mixed with Coke (a Fernola), it’s a bitter, liquoricey, spiced drink that you either love or hate.

fernet

Love it or hate it…

3. Mate

This tea-like hot drink is a national obsession! It’s a very social drink and is ritually drunk from a communal cup through a metal straw or bondilla as they’re known, often in large groups. Lots of people wouldn’t imagine leaving the house without their mate cup and a flask of hot water with them. It tastes a bit like a strong green tea and there are dozens of different varieties.

mate cup

Decorative mate cup from… Tigre

James

Ever eaten steak in Argentina? What’s your favourite Argentinian food or drink?

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