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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Secrets of Argentinian Cuisine

The specialty of Argentine food is steaks and grilled meat. Argentine beef is low on fat and cholesterol and has a special flavor too. Another determining factor in Argentinian cuisine is that Argentina is the world's major producer of wheat, beans, maize, soybeans, beef and milk.

Thus, these items are commonly used on the table in the likes of wheat based Italian dishes or the Argentine Pizza.Argentinian cuisine is immensely influenced by Spanish, Italian and South American food.

The specialty of Argentine food is steaks and grilled meat. Argentine beef is low on fat and cholesterol and has a special flavor too. Another determining factor in Argentinian cuisine is that Argentina is the world's major producer of wheat, beans, maize, soybeans, beef and milk. Thus, these items are commonly used on the table in the likes of wheat based Italian dishes or the Argentine Pizza.

Argentinian cuisine is very authentic and natural, which means use of vegetables are quite prevalent and salads are an important part of their food. In spite of this, in cities the picture is fast changing. Pre-packed frozen food is becoming popular. Fast-food is now an important share of city life challenging hamburgers and steaks.

However, the three original dishes of Argentina still found in Buenos Aires are:
ƒ{ Caramel Apple Pancake - a lip smacking dessert
ƒ{ Revuelto Gramajo - made of eggs, crisp potato, ham and chicken
ƒ{ Milanesa Napolitana - breaded veal cutlet, slice of cheese and ham covered with tomato sauce and cooked in the oven till cheese melts

Argentina is famous for steaks and grills from the days of the illustrious Incas, who roasted meat over green branches on hot rocks or coal. This must have probably been the first barbecue man had ever made on earth! Another specialty of Argentina is Porteno, which means classic European cuisine with a local touch. A French or Italian will not trace any similarity because it is just different with the local influence.

Argentines have a high protein diet and beef in the form of grilled meat and steaks dominate it. Breaded and fried meat is used as snacks with sandwiches or simply with mashed potato. In parties and picnics Argentines love pastries of meat, cheese, sweet corn etc as starters. Vegetables and salads are very important for Argentine meals. They have adapted to Italian staples of pizza and pastas in the food. Italian-style ice creams are common in Argentina. For evening snacks they have crust less white bread buttered with thin slice of meat, cheese and lettuce leaf with beer.

In the provinces, the European touch is not visible but pro-Colombian and colonial traditions are noticed. More use of maize, beans, pumpkins and chilies in food is observed. Fruits like apples, pears, peaches, kiwifruits, avocados and plums are used in abundance in their food.

A traditional drink called mate is a luxury and is considered a social ritual at family or small gatherings. The dried leaves and twigs of Yerba Mate plant is placed in a cup, which is also called mate, and near boiling water is added to it. This cup is made up of gourd or bone or horn. The drink is sipped from a metal cane called bombilla. The drink can be sweetened with sugar or flavored with aromatic herbs or dried orange peel to suppress its original bitterness. The host prepares the drink to the taste of the guests. Mate Cocido is the same leaf prepared differently. It is boiled and served like tea or coffee with milk or sugar. Other drinks are wine, tea or coffee.

With this whole lot of varieties you are sure to go into a tizzy. Experience the taste of Argentinian cuisine with a touch of Spanish and Italian influence.

Chris McCarthy is the owner of InsaneChicken's BBQ Sauce Catalog. InsaneChicken is proud to sell hot sauce from around the world and is famous for it's Hot Sauce of the month club.
By Chris McCarthy

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