Argentina Food Traditions
No trip to Argentina is complete without a full tour of traditional cuisine, and asado is about as authentic as it gets. This delectable term is used interchangeably for both the method of barbeque and also the event itself.
Asado is a social or family gathering centered on a meal of barbecued meats and vegetables, served with fresh salads and followed by dulce de leche desserts. Check if you need an Argentina Visa prior to your trip.
In Argentina, meals are an important affair. Large families along with friends and neighbors enjoy each other’s company all the more with a delicious feast to share, giving rise to the asado tradition. It is no secret that a tasty and fulfilling meal lends both satisfaction and general cheer to any occasion, and Argentines share this celebration with one another as frequently as possible. For many families, dinner every Sunday is asado.
Anatomy of Asado
The particular technique used for asado differs by region, but also by the size of the gathering, which tools and fuels are available, and the preferences of the cook, or asador.
Asado rarely employs marinades, instead relying on salt rubbed into the skin during cooking and the meat’s natural flavors. Special charcoal or wood coal smoke adds another potential layer of seasoning. Some asadores prefer charcoal while others use hot burning wood coals, chosen carefully to either avoid adding a smoke flavor, or adding a particular smoke flavor to the meat.
For large gatherings, whole carcasses may be cooked al asador, meaning staked over coals or fire and cooked to perfection. At smaller gatherings, or for asadores without the space to stake a carcass, asado is cooked on a grill, or a la parilla. In either case, asadores try to avoid letting fat drip into the coals, to prevent the aroma of burning grease from stinging the meat.
Progression of an Asado Meal
Those unfamiliar with Argentine asado may be surprised at the completeness of the meal experience. Preparation of everything, from the appetizers to dessert, might all take place on the grill. Edible organs and smaller cuts, such as the ribs, cook more quickly, and are used for appetizers or sides while the thicker cuts take longer to cook.
Grilled pastries or fruits with warm dulce de leche topping add a sweet finish to the meal, often served with dessert wine.
Regardless of the reason for visiting Argentina, be it the excitement of Buenos Aires or the breathtaking natural beauty of Patagonia, experiencing asado is a must, and nearly unavoidable at any rate.
Exploring incredible food is essential to enjoying the spirit of this unique and diverse country fully. No matter what part of Argentina you plan to visit, be sure to make time to enjoy asado with a local family or at a restaurant.
The taste of the food is but the first layer of joy, asado brings people together in a way that only a feast can. In short, asado is for people to enjoy a meal with one another and laugh, drink, cry, and love together.