5 Must Try Foods in Argentina
I lived in Argentina for nearly two years, and traveled there a few times before that. I adore Argentina for many reasons, but, to be completely honest, I was never too terribly impressed with food in Argentina, overall. I love to eat, so that’s certainly saying something. While I don’t think Argentina is an amazing culinary destination, I can definitely pinpoint 5 amazing foods that are absolute must-try dishes if you find yourself in this country.
1. Ice Cream
Considering the amount of times I mention ice cream both on my blog and in real life, this should be no surprise. It’s true, my obsession with ice cream will follow me anywhere, but Argentina has some truly incredible ice cream to offer. It’s so amazing, I wrote an entire article about it. Artesian ice cream shops are everywhere in Argentina, and you should make sure you stop by as many as possible.
Many menus translate “empanada” as a “meat-filled pastry.” I don’t know about you, but for me, that paints a picture of a donut stuffed with ground beef. Luckily, a true empanada bares no resemblance to that monstrosity, nor the sugary Carmel Apple Empanadas served at Taco Bell. Argentine empanadas are often made with pastry dough, which isn’t actually sweet, but delightfully flaky. Other chefs will use something more akin to pizza dough. Either variety can be baked or grilled on a parilla. My favorite is simply pollo (chicken) or verdura (usually just spinach and a ton of cream and cheese.)
I feel a bit weird putting this one on the list, seeing as the entire time I lived in Argentina I didn’t eat red meat. Of course, I don’t think my dietary restrictions/choices should deter anyone from trying the cuisine that Argentina is most famous for. There are countless parillas where you can order some of the juiciest cuts of meat you have ever had. I may not have tasted them, but I have sat a table where a parillada was delivered. Parilladas are basically mini-grills piled high with a variety of meats. If you aren’t quite sure which cut you’d like, your best bet is a tenedor libre, which is an all-you-can-eat meat buffet. It’s a meat lovers dream. There is salad, cheese, bread, and wine as well, but most of the guys I went with couldn’t be bothered with anything but the grill area.
4.Dulce de leche
Dulce de leche is a lot like caramel, but way better. I cannot really explain to you why it is better, but trust me, it is. You will find dulce de leche in or on basically every sweet in Argentina. You can also purchase it plain in a jar at the supermarket. If you want to be extra fancy, you can get artesian dulce de leche at speciality markets or at a local coffee-chain called Havana.
Medialunas are basically just a sweet croissant, but once again, I can’t quite explain what makes these croissants so much better than any other I have ever eaten. It could be that each tiny croissant is worth about 150-300 calories due to all the butter and grease. These seemingly light yet sinfully empty-calorie filled treats are a favorite for breakfast, with coffee, or really any time you are walking past a tempting bakery. Beware, it’s far too easy to scarf down 3 or more of these in a matter of minutes.
I may not miss Argentina’s food overall, but I do miss at least 4 of these 5 foods quite a bit. Do you have anything to add to the list?