It’s no wonder that the asado – Argentinian barbecue – is the biggest tradition in the land of cattle.
By Liza Puglia
It’s no wonder that the asado is the biggest tradition here in the land of cattle. In fact over 70% of the countries restaurants are parrillas (steak houses) dishing out kilos and kilos of grilled proteins day in and day out. It’s no surprise that heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst locals. Possible connection? I think so.
At most parrillas you will find a simple menu consisting mostly of different beef and pork cuts, chorizo (pork sausage), morcilla (blood sausage), and chinchulin (small intestines), a delicacy here in Argentina. There may be a salad option, if you’re lucky, but you can guarantee papas fritas (french fries) are their number one selling vegetable. Many times you’ll see them served papas provenzal which indicates they’re covered in sauteed garlic & parsley, a must have if you’re going to indulge!!
All asados are started with choripan, a mini sandwich of chorizo and white bread. Chimichurri is served on the side along with salsa criolla, a raw salsa of diced onion, bell pepper, tomato, and garlic. Both are winners and add a nice vinegar kick to the salty pork sausage. Best thing to pair with a choripan? A glass of local Malbec, of course!!
But eat with caution, lots of protein is about to come off that grill. Portions are typically large and designed to share so don’t go overboard when ordering. If you’re a fan of bloody steak you want to order your cuts jugoso or a punto if you prefer medium to medium well.
Pour yourself another glass of Malbec and forget all health conscience thoughts. Enjoy the moment, grab that knife and cut in.
If you fancy to dine like the locals do in Buenos Aires check out Parrilla 22, one of my personal favorites.
Liza Puglia is a professional cook and food blogger. Spending most of her life in New Orleans and New York City she now resides in colorful Buenos Aires, Argentina where she runs a small restaurant serving Creole infused cuisine. Food, wine, music, and travel mean the most to her and can be found at her blog NOLAchef.