Forget diet when looking for Argentinian dishes to try. From the milanese to the alfajores, your effort to shrink your belt is in vain. It is not to worry. Along with the gain in inches and pounds, you’ll carry memories of the tastiest dishes you’ve ever tasted. There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, and sidewalk restaurants in Buenos Aires . In most neighborhoods it is impossible to walk a block and not pass at least three. Be brave. Pick one. Take a seat and order from this list of foods you don’t want to miss.
A dish brought to the mainland by immigrants during the Italian diaspora, milanesa is made primarily from beef or chicken, with the meat finely pounded and then rubbed with breadcrumbs before being baked or fried. Typical ingredients include fried egg, cheese, or tomato sauce.
Often served as a main dish at a barbecue, or roast, chorizo is usually made with pork, but wild boar sausage can also be found in some restaurants. Choripan is also a must before any football and is carried by taxi drivers, making choripan the preferred Argentine street food. Available in numerous blends, the most popular include caramelized onions, pickled eggplant, and green peppers, as well as other seasonings.
With a more rustic and earthy tone than beef, the llama steak’s fat content is lower than traditional steak and therefore a healthy alternative. The llama steak can be tasted in empanadas, stews and as a steak on its own.
Argentine ice cream is thick, creamy and reminds many of Italian ice cream. Top a bowl full of dulce de leche (caramelized milk and sugar sauce) and prepare to forget about your diet.
The thick crusts of Argentinian pizza are relieved with tomato sauce and offset with plenty of Argentinian-style mozzarella cheese. The most popular garnishes are green olives, oregano, and dried chili.
A national dish served on May 25 to celebrate Argentina’s May Revolution, this stew is made from corn, tripe, red chorizo, and beef or pork. Other vegetables are often added.
Asado is both a gathering around a barbecue with friends and a method of grilling. A roast is a multi-step affair that often lasts for several hours. Main dishes include black pudding, veal sweetbreads and tripe. The key to finding the Argentine spirit is through an asado. Spend a lazy afternoon by a barbecue grill and enjoy grilled meats. Patagonian-style restaurants roast a whole lamb or pig over an open flame. Topped with chimichurri and slightly salty, there’s nothing better than a roast and a glass of Malbec.
Humita is both an appetizer and a main course. Made with fresh corn and milk, the humita also has onion, spices, and goat cheese. Folded in corn husks, the entire humita is steamed or boiled.
Argentinians give a new meaning to grilled cheese with provolone. Spicy and sharp, the sliced cheese is topped with oregano and chili flakes before being grilled. Grilled in a specific size pan or foil, provolone is made from cow’s milk and topped with oregano. A good provolone is slightly crispy on the outside and melted on the inside. Dripping the top with olive oil brings out the flavors.
Stuffed dough bags, they are baked or fried empanadas and stuffed with meat or vegetables. Common fillings include chicken, cheese, ham, or blue cheese. A gift that passed from the Moors to Spain and from there to Argentina, empanadas are hot, cheap and popular, and they began within the working class. Dessert empanadas are filled with quince jam or dulce de leche before being dusted with cinnamon or sugar.
Alfajores are crumbly, sweet bread-like biscuits filled with jam, mousse, or dulce de leche. The origins of the alfajores are in the Arab culture and brought to Spain by the Moors. Spanish explorers brought the sweet delicacy to Argentina. Argentines consume alfajores for breakfast, dessert, and, well, throughout the day.
Stroll down any avenue in Buenos Aires, and someone pours hot water into a gourd, drinks some through a straw, and passes it to a friend. The friend repeats the process and returns the pumpkin. Yerba mate is a bitter herb rich in caffeine and is prepared like tea. It is consumed from a hollowed-out gourd and drunk through a straw-like metal device: the bombillo. Mate is always shared with someone, which makes it a social activity. If they offer you something, take it. Offering mate to a stranger is common.