What comes to your mind when you think of Argentina? I recently carried out a survey to peep at what non-Argentinians relate to this country. Thank you all who completed it!
Here are some of the answers I received to that question: wine, meat, empanadas, asado, soccer, fernet, nice accent, Eva Perón, Cristina Kirchner, Che Guevara, Messi, Maradona, del Potro. You may have also heard about tango, Ricardo Darín, Jorge Luis Borges, Quino, Máxima Zorreguieta, etc.
But what will you find if you come to Argentina? Let me give you a glimpse regarding three features ─food, people, and landscapes. I warn you, this article is filled with hispanisms. Don’t miss the photos at the end!
What Do Argentinians Eat?
Some of the most famous Argentinian meals are:
- Asado: Asado is only similar to barbecue. It is not the same. Some differences have to do with preparation time, use of firewood for heating, the previous picada (a snack) accompanied by wine or beer, and the social gathering of friends and/or family surrounding it.
- Empanadas: There are many versions of these salty pastries, but basically the common Argentine empanada is stuffed with ground or chopped meat.
- Locro: A typical winter meal, locro contains white corn kernels, white kidney beans, and different kinds of meat. Onion, spices and the meat turn it into a delicious
Of course, we do not eat these things every day, although Argentinians do consume a larger amount of meat compared to other countries. We are also very fond of Italian food ─pasta, pizza, milanesas, etc. There are other things you cannot miss from Argentinian cuisine: choripán; bizcochos; facturas y alfajores, in which you can find dulce de leche. Also, mate is a herbal infusion prepared with dried leaves of yerba mate. It is one of the favorite beverages in this country. Actually, I am having mates while writing this article. However, mate is usually shared, and ideal for conversation with family and friends. You have to try it, but be careful not to burn your tongue!
What About Argentinians?
Argentina’s population is made up mostly of the descendants of European immigrants ─mostly Italian and Spanish─ who arrived in the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This had an enormous influence in the language, culture and traditions which are now common in Argentina. According to 2010 national statistics, only 2.38 % of Argentinians belong to indigenous peoples. As of 2018, there is an estimated population of 44,494,502 people.
Argentinians are seen as overconfident about themselves. I cannot say if this true, but there are good and bad people as in every other country. You can also find kind and generous people, especially as you move away from the bigger cities.
The Best for Last
With an extension of 3,694 km (near 2,300 miles) from North to South, and over 3.7 million km2 (over 1.4 mi2), Argentina covers a wide variety of landscapes. You can find mountains and plains; deserts as well as lakes, rivers, and seacoast; rainforests and glaciers. You also have big cities like Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Córdoba, or quiet, small villages. Anything you want, you will find in this land full of variety.
Is this what you had in mind about Argentina? Any myths falling down? In a future article, I will tell you some interesting quick facts about Argentina. Don’t miss it!
What do you think? What do you like the most about Argentina? Why? Your opinions and suggestions are welcome! Did you enjoy the article? Like it and share it with your friends!
Here is a link to a New York Times article about Córdoba, the capital of fernet and cuarteto: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/world/americas/argentine-city-aims-to-stand-out-with-rebellious-spirit-and-coke-in-a-cup.html
Do you need assistance regarding Argentina’s language and culture? Click here to find out how I can help you meet your needs.
If you want to know more about Argentinians’ variant of Spanish, you may enjoy reading this article (in Spanish).
De Coticuenca – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62088524
Jujuy De Lahi – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27387619
Locro By Stevage – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5866871
 According to this study about meat consumption in 2013, Argentina is the second country with the largest consumption per capita, with 59 kg (130 pounds) per year, per person. Years ago, consumption even exceeded 90 kg (almost 200 pounds per year, per person), as you can see here.
 There is an endless argument regarding the origin of milanesas. Although they are generally believed to have originated in the Italian city of Milan, some people claim they are from Vienna (Austria). Anyhow, you should try the tasty Argentinian version: milanesa a la napolitana.
 While doing research for this article, I bumped into a great article by the BBC, which explains the origin of facturas’ names and gives you an insight into these sweet pastries and their relation with Argentinian history. You can read it at http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20171101-the-surprising-origin-of-argentinas-brazen-pastry-names.
 Other countries, such as Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil, also drink this or similar versions of mate.