by Tara Stuart

Agriculture of Argentina
Argentina has become a major agricultural producer and exporter in the world. Their main products include meat (beef), wheat, corn, milk, beans, and soybeans. They are one of the world's leading soybean (agr.). Since they have direct access to fishing on the Atlantic coast, one would think Argentines would consume a lot of fish. Instead, they cling to beef (Adams 82). Argentines consume one of the largest amounts of meat daily in the world—59 kilograms of meat per capita per year (Adams 83)! They have many delicious ways of cooking meat and do not let any of the animal go to waste.

photo taken by Tara Stuart, San Nicolas, Argentian July 2008

Famous Foods
Vegetarians beware! Argentines love to barbecue their asado or beef, and serve it to their guests. Incidents have been recorded where restaurant waiters have disguised beef and served it to a vegetarian. They cannot believe why someone would not want to eat Argentine beef since it is the best around (Adams 83)! Luckily for vegetarians, the many pasta dishes provide a delicious alternative to beef, although many will claim that one cannot truly experience Argentina without sampling asado. When ordering in a restaurant, here are a few helpful tips: for steak cooked rare, say jugoso, for well done bien hecho, and for medium a punto (Adams 84).

How Food Affects the Daily Life of an Argentine
In Argentina, the culture is very laid-back and relaxed. It is acceptable and expected to not be "on-time" for meals or events. Breakfast is usually a smaller meal that consists of coffee, tea, mate, and toast and croissants with marmelade or dulce de leche. Worth mentioning is the hot beverage called Mate. Similar to tea, it packs as much--or more--caffeine than coffee. It is almost always shared by passing around a single cup made from a gourd and sipped through a long straw called a bombilla. Argentines are very fond of this tradition and love to share it. Lunch is probably the second largest meal of the day and can include a wide variety of dishes from pastas to pizzas to meat dishes. In between lunch and dinner is often a "merienda," which is a snack, similar to a teatime. It is a good thing there is a snack in between, because dinner is usually not consumed until eight or nine in the evening, but it is always the largest meal and well worth the wait. Many restaurants can be found still open and even busy at twelve midnight! Argentines are famous for starting the day later, sometimes with little or no breakfast, and staying out at night until the early hours in the morning. (3)

By Tara Stuart: Spanish and Italian Influences on Argentine Cuisine(Home) Argentine Food and Culture Italian and Spanish Foods
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