Traditional food of Argentina
The national dish of Argentina is asados (a variety of barbecued meat) grilled on a parillo (a large grill) that is packed with steaks; ribs; chorizo; mollejas (sweetbread), chinchulines (chitterlings) and morcilla (blood sausage).
Empanadas are stuffed pastries filled with either meat; corn; vegetables; tuna or cheese and are hugely popular at parties and other festive occasions.
Milanesas (crumbed schnitzels) originating in Italy, are typically referred to as Milanesa Napolitan. The crumbed meat also contains cheese, ham and tomatoes.
Pizza is known as pisa or pitsa and has been adapted to suit the local palate - pisa canchera; pisa rellena (stuffed pizza) and pisa la parilla (grilled pizza) is the result of an Italian/Argentinean fusion.
The fugazza, is the Argentinian take on focaccia xeneise (Genoan) and faina which is a thin chickpea bread.
Tallarines (fettuccine), ravioles (ravioli), noquis (gnocchi) and canelones (cannelloni),fideos (short curly pasta) are particular favourites.
Dulche de leche and other sweet pastes
A favourite is dulce de leche (caramelised condensed milk).
A typical tea time spread
At tea time, tables are laid with alfajores (shortbread cookies, sandwiched together with dulce de leche and rolled in grated coconut), torta galesa and torta negra, as well as the dainty (British inspired) sandwiches de miga (thinly sliced, crustless sandwiches) and scones.
Yerba mate is a species of holly that can grow as high as 15 metres with evergreen leaves and small, greenish-white flowers. The fruit is a red drupe.
The Argentinians make an infusion called ‘mate’ when they steep the dry leaves and the twigs in boiling hot water.
It is traditionally drunk from a guampa (a gourd) with a metal straw and it tastes similar to green tea. Flavoured mate is available in most stores, peppermint and citrus being the most popular flavours.
A touch of Spain
The Spanish inspired sweet churros (rolled, fried pastries stuffed with the popular dulce de leche), Catalan sweet bread (ensaimadas), flan and the famous alfajores all originated in Spain.
Arroces are the Argentinean version of paella. The fabada descended from the Asturian bean stew and the tortillas are Spanish and not Mexican born (Mexican tortillas are made of flour whilst these are made with eggs, onions and potatoes).
A touch of Germany
Medialunas (croissants) and bolas de fraile (friars balls) are delicacies originating in Germany.
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