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Gastronomy of Argentina

Argentina is a very large country with an immense variety of landscapes. It is definitely a country that needs time to select those places that you would like visit the most, according to your preferences and interests. 

After having said this, each region and each province of Argentina has its typical dishes, each with its own unique flavors and ingredients that grows depending on its vast geography and diverse climates.

We elaborated the following list for you, from north to south. When you visit the country, and its different regions, you will know what to order to indulge yourself with delicious food!

North of Argentina: Tucumán, Salta & Jujuy 

Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy, three provinces located in the northwest of Argentina, boast rich culinary traditions influenced by indigenous cultures and Spanish heritage. Salta is the most visited City in this region, gate to La Quebrada de Humahuaca and San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. 

The words you have to learn are and the portion you need for a full meal. (Although it can vary from person to person).

  • Empanadas Salteñas: “Quiero 3 empanadas salteñas”. Pastries filled with a variety of ingredients such as beef, vegetables, cheese, chicken, seasoned with spices like paprika. You can enjoy of empanadas throughout Argentina, but “salteña” type is from this city and province. Tucuman has its own empanada as well, and each province is very proud of their way to fill and cook this national meal.
  • Humita en Chala: “Quiero 2 humitas en chala”. Humita is made from fresh corn mixed with onions, cheese, and spices, then wrapped in corn husks and steamed or boiled. 
  • Tamales: “Quiero 2 tamales” Tamales are similar to humita, they are corn-based but the main difference is that they are also filled with meat (such as chicken or pork), vegetables, and spices and then wrapped in corn husks and steamed.
  • Locro: “Quiero locro” and it will come in a bowl. Locro is a stew made with meat (can be beef, pork and also llama), corn, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, among other vegetables. It’s seasoned with a blend of spices and often served with a dollop of creamy white sauce made from milk, cheese, and spices.

Litoral: Misiones and Corrientes

Misiones and Corrientes provinces have its own unique culinary identity influenced by indigenous Guarani culture, Brazilian cuisine from across the border, and Argentine gastronomic traditions. 

  • Chipa: Chipa is a cheese bread that is usually accompanied with Mate. It is for snacks. Do not miss it! And give the mate a chance as well.
  • Sopa paraguaya: Delicious! But watch you belt! The best word to describe “Paraguayan soup” is corn bread made with corn, cheese, eggs and sometimes onion. 
  • Mbejú: Mbejú is a type of flatbread made from cassava flour, cheese, eggs, and sometimes lard or butter. It has a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior, with a rich and cheesy flavor.
  • Pacú: Pacú is a fish native from the river region and very popular, especially in Corrientes province. It can be prepared grilled or roasted. 

Buenos Aires

These are some of the typical dishes that porteños eat daily in the city that never sleeps: 

  • Asado: You should probably hear about Asado, which is different cuts of grilled meat served with the typical chimichurri sauce. Asado is commonly accompanied by salads, fries or mashed potatoes.  
  • Milanesa: all Argentinians childhood meals. If you ever wonder is Argentinians eat asado in their daily life, the answer is NO! But the meat is present in most of the meals and Milanesa is one of them. The meal that never fails.                                This dish features breaded and fried meat fillets, usually beef or chicken. If you are visiting Buenos Aires, you MUST try milanesa, specially “milanesa napolitana”, which adds a layer of ham, tomato sauce, and melted cheese on top, making it even more delicious.
  • Choripán: Choripán is a grilled chorizo sausage served in a crusty bread roll. As the asado, Choripán is topped with chimichurri sauce as well or criolla sauce too. Choripan is a simple street food that can be also found in some parrillas all over Argentina. 
  • Pizza: The Italian in-migrants made a huge influence on Argentina culture, definitely. Specially over culinary culture. But in difference with Italy, in Argentina, we share the pizza. We order one or two with different toppings and we share slices. In Italy each person orders an individual pizza. Maybe, the Italians who came to Argentina during World War II, starting to share the pizza. Our “pizza porteña” is “al molde” which means “on the mold”. This refers to pizzas that are baked in rectangular trays and then cut into square slices. 

You can find some of the best pizzerias in Buenos Aires in Corrientes avenue, in the city center.  

Northern Patagonia: San Carlos de Bariloche, Villa La Angostura and San Martin de los Andes

The northern Patagonia, renowned for its stunning natural beauty, characterized by snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and dense forests boasts a rich gastronomic scene that reflects its natural surroundings, cultural heritage, and European influences

  • Patagonian Lamb: when you go back home, you want to say “I tried Patagonian lamb and it is delicious”. It’s typically slow-roasted on a spit over an open fire, resulting in tender, flavorful meat. Patagonia lamb march perfectly well with a Malbec wine. 
  • Trout: Due to the pristine waters of the Patagonian region, the trout caught in Bariloche are known for their freshness and superior taste. It can be grilled, baked, pan-seared, or smoked and it can be served with a lemon and herb butter sauce, accompanied by roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes. If you want to surprise your server, ask “Quiero Trucha a la manteca negra”. It is with butter, and the way locals cook the trout.
  • Chocolate: Bariloche is the capital of Chocolate. You can smell the arome of chocolate through the streets of the city and there are many shops that offer different types of artisanal chocolates. The most popular in Argentina is “chocolate en rama”, which means “in branches” or “in sticks”.
  • Fondue: melt cheese, cheese Fondue, where pieces of bread or other food are dipped into a pot of melted cheese or chocolate and this is a very common dish in Bariloche, especially during cold months.
  • Craft Beer: In Bariloche there are many microbreweries that produce artisanal beers of many types. 

Southern Patagonia: El Calafate and Ushuaia 

  • King Crab: locally known as centolla, can be enjoyed in various preparations, such as grilled, boiled, or in creamy sauces. It is a must if you are visiting Ushuaia. 
  • Lamb Stew: Known as “estofado de cordero” in Spanish, is a comforting and hearty dish that can be found in various regions of Argentina, including El Calafate in the Patagonian region. 
  • Calafate berries: The calafate berry is native to the Patagonian region and is used in various dishes and desserts in El Calafate. It is usually used in ice cream or desserts. 
  • Fungi and Ferns: The forests surrounding El Calafate are home to a variety of edible fungi and ferns, which are often incorporated into local dishes.

What other dishes are you willing to try on your trip in Argentina? Tell us you favorite here

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