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Culinary Vocab in Argentina


Alfajores: Very popular sandwich cookie consisting of two sweet biscuits sandwiched with dulce de leche - creamy caramelized milk syrup. Sometimes coated in chocolate or shredded coconut, or covered in powdered sugar.

Asado: A general term for barbequed beef.

Chimichurri: A sauce of herbs and chili used for seasoning meat.

Chorizo: Pork sausage, usually barbequed or found in a choripan, a chorizo sandwich.

Churrasco: Grilled steak.

Dulce de Leche: A very sweet and creamy caramelized milk-based syrup, spread, or candy, popular all over Latin America.

Empanadas: Small pastries, either baked or fried, that are usually filled with beef, egg, olives, and even raisins. They can also be filled with cheese, ham, chicken, or fish. The empanadas in Salta, a city in the northwest, are considered especially good.

Malbec: Arguably Argentina’s most popular red wine, the Malbec has put Argentine wine on the global map. While the Malbec grape has difficulty growing in France, it thrives in Argentina’s sunny climate. The best quality Malbec can be found in the Mendoza region.

Medialunas: Literally translating into "half-moons," these croissants are a staple of Argentine breakfast, served with coffee.

Milanesa: A beef or chicken cutlet that is dipped in egg, coated in breadcrumbs, and fried. A variation on the milanesa, the Milanesa Napolitana is topped off with cheese, tomatoes and ham.

Ñoqui: Gnocchi (potato pasta dumplings,) is a common dish that evidences the country’s strong Italian influences.

Parrillada: A mixed grill of steak and other cuts of beef.

Sandwiches de Miga: Sandwiches, sometimes double-layered, made from thin white bread without the crust and filled with eggs, cheese, ham, sometimes vegetables, and mayonnaise. This sandwich is a necessary tea-time food, as Argentines usually only sit down to dinner around 10:00 pm.

Yerba Mate: This very popular bitter tea is drank out of a small wooden gourd, also called  mate, with a metal bombilla, a spoon that doubles as a straw. Yerba Mate is typically shared by passing the gourd around among friends, making it a social activity that is especially popular in Argentina and Uruguay, as well as other Latin American countries.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Argentina: When to Go, Social Issues in Argentina, Beers at the End of the World, Argentina Internet, Senior Travelers, Credit Cards, Safety, Travelers Checks, When To Go and Fishing in Argentina.

By Nili Larish
I'm a reader, a writer, and a traveler, the kind of gal who likes to get as filthy as possibly on a camping trip, and then spend hours in the bathtub...
11 Jun 2008

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