La Comida Argentina (Tradicional): BIFE & ASADO
(caveat: There is so much to be said about Argentine beef that I am having a hard time organizing my thoughts. I’d like to blame this brainfart of an entry on jetlag, even if it hasn’t kicked in yet.)
Everybody knows that beef is huge (in every sense of the word) in Argentina. In 2009, it was recorded that the average Argentine had consumed close to 70 kilos of beef. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering it’s easy to get good quality beef and for cheap.
If you don’t specify how you want your steak, then it will be served to you al punto, or medium done.
The most popular cuts are bife de chorizo/sirloin, bife de lomo/tenderloin and vacio/flank (they happen to be the most expensive ones too).
What barbie is Australia, then asado is to Argentina (perhaps more). If I am correct, it means barbeque and cut of meat.
On weekends, locals will gather around a parilla (grill) for an asado. Sexist as it may be, the man is always in charge of the knife, meat and fire.
Also, guests/diners have to wait for the asado; the asado cannot wait .
The smallest piece of meat in this picture is called Sweetbread. I would always see it in menus, taking a mental note to order it next time as my “carb” of choice. Turns out, sweetbread is the Thymus Gland of the cow. I was told this, after having consumed 2/3 of it. It didn’t turn me off, in fact, this might just be my favorite part of the cow!
Lamb, sausage, cheese and pork, can also be had in an asado. Grilled provoleta cheese is a favorite. Too bad I don’t really like quesos.
It took me a month to find corned beef in Argentina. Whenever I’d ask locals where I can find this highly preserved canned meat, I’d get funny looks (and that would be putting it gently). I guess when there’s so much fresh beef to be had, there’s no need to settle for the canned version (especially when they cost the same).