The history of Argentinian food & cuisine is rich & diverse. It’s a land that has experienced extensive immigration for many years, and this country has benefited from numerous food influences. The diverse climate of the argentine, ranging from subtropical to sub polar, has also helped immensely in broadening the set of ingredients readily available.
Native Indians lived in Argentina for many decades before the European explorers arrived in the region. People of an Indian tribe in the northern part of this country were farmers who grew melons, squash and sweet potatoes. Spanish settlers came in this region in 1536.
Between 1880 & 1890, about 1 million immigrants came from Europe to stay in Argentina. And most of them were from Spain & Italy. And because of Italian-culture presence, the Italians introduced pizza, as well as all sort of pasta dishes like lasagna & spaghetti.
German, British, Jewish & other immigrants also were settled in this region, all bringing their styles of cooking & favorite foods with them. The British introduced the concept of tea and started the tradition of teatime. All of these cultures influenced the foods of Argentina.
Argentinian Foods & Recipes
There are four different cuisines in the Argentinian recipes: the Central (Pampean) cuisine, the Cuyo in the North-West, the North-East region & Patagonia, or the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).
Beef is one of the main and most-liked ingredients in the Argentinean food and recipes, and it’s prepared in several ways: grilled, fried, barbecued, roasted, stewed & served as a filling for the pastries known as empanadas, also made with a cheese & corn mixture.
The Italian & Spanish influences are very much felt in Argentian recipes. Spanish food includes empanadas that are filled with the dough in two layers, locro (a mixture of beans, corn, meat, Onion, Bacon, & gourd) & chorizos (some spicy sausages).
The Italian contribution in Argentinian culture and food is immense, as there are different kinds of pizzas (pizza rellena, pizza canchera) & gnocchi (a pasta dumpling with potatoes).
Argentinians have surprisingly delicious rib-eye steaks. These steaks are made with Chimichurri which is a definite ingredient with grilled meat or beef in Argentina.
There are big cattle ranches in Argentina, & the Argentinian cowboy or gaucho is a well-known symbol of Argentinian individualism. Most of the Argentinian dishes have meat in them and are prepared in different ways.
One of the favorite course of Argentinian people is parrillada which is a mixed grill of steak & other cuts of beef. Carbonado is one of the most liked dishes of Argentinians, and it’s a stew that contains potatoes, meat, sweet potatoes & chunks of corn on the cob.
One of the traditional drink of Argentina is an infusion called mate (in Spanish language, mate, with the accent on the first syllable [MAH-teh]). This name usually comes from the hollow gourd from which it is traditionally drunk.
The mate (gourd) or other small mug is filled almost three-quarters full with yerba mate, the dried twigs & leaves of the liex paraguarienisis. After eating Argentinian food and cuisine, you’ll fall in love with Argentinian recipes.