Argentine cuisine is described as a blending of cultures, from the Indigenous peoples of Argentina who focused on ingredients such as humita, potatoes, cassava, peppers, tomatoes, beans, and yerba mate, to Mediterranean influences brought by the Spanish during the colonial period. This led to cultural blending of criollos (gauchos and early Spanish settlers), Indigenous, and sub-Saharan African (due to slave trading) in the cuisine. Later, this was complemented by the significant influx of Italian and Spanish immigrants to Argentina during the 19th and 20th centuries, who incorporated plenty of their food customs and dishes such as pizzas, pasta and Spanish tortillas.
Beef is a main part of the Argentine diet due to its vast production in the country's plains. In fact, Argentine annual consumption of beef has averaged 100 kg (220 lb) per capita, approaching 180 kg (400 lb) per capita during the 19th century; consumption averaged 67.7 kg (149 lb) in 2007.
Argentinian Cuisine differs greatly from the rest of South America, largely because of the cultural influences in the more recent history. As the majority of South America is clearly Spanish, and to some degree Portuguese influence(Brazil).
The eighth largest country in the world, Argentina, is located in South America, encompassing most of the southern part of the continent. The country is filled with diverse landscapes such as plains, forests, deserts, mountains and thousands of kilometres of ocean shoreline. Argentine culture is a blend of European customs and Latin American and indigenous traditions. Argentines are quite proud of their nation and its blended heritage as well as their ability to rise above adversity. They are also proud of their talents in many fields. For example, Argentina has produced five Nobel Laureates in the fields of Peace, Chemistry, and Medicine along with various creators in the arts. Although Argentines tend to be more individualistic than their counterparts in neighbouring countries, family networks and support continue to be a core part of Argentine society.
A wave of European migration between the mid-1800s and early 1900s also had a massive impact on the ethnic composition of the country. The vast majority of migrants came from Italy and Spain. Italian migrants had a notable influence on Argentine culture. There were also smaller numbers of migrants from France, Poland, Germany, Russia and Britain. Today, approximately 97.2% of Argentina’s population have an ethnic connection to Europe.
Food In Argentina
With Italian and Spanish influences, the Argentine cuisine is characterized by its variety of meats and in particular, it’s beef, as seen in the popularity of Argentinian Steakhouses throughout the world. Grilled veal and pork are also very common. The sauce that accompanies the meat, the chimichurri, is one of the best-known delights of Argentinian cuisine, and there is no lack of sausages, rich empanadas filled with numerous ingredients or delicious sweet dishes, such as the famous alfajores. Although in Argentina you can find different types of drinks, the most widely consumed is mate, the tea infusion that has become a symbol of the country and whose consumption is a ritual for Argentines.
How about a few authentic recipes to inspire you on this hump day?
Cheers, and have a great week!