Q:

What kind of food is consumed in Argentina?

A:

Argentinean cuisine bears strong European and Mediterranean influences and centers around meat and bread products. Grass-fed beef and flavorful chorizo are the main proteins, while bread features heavily in pizzas, empanadas and desserts.

Argentina has some of the most sought-after beef in the world. Beef Magazine reports that the country exported 164,000 metric tons of it to world markets in 2012. To serve, the meat is simply seasoned, usually just with salt, and prepared "asado," which means roasted or barbecued. Chorizo, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with cumin, chili powder, garlic and other spices, is also a centerpiece of Argentinean barbecue.

The country's Mediterranean influence is evident in its ubiquitous pizzas. Over 14 million are sold annually in Buenos Aires alone. Argentinean pizzas, sometimes called "fugazza," are made with a thick dough, unlike their Italian counterparts, and usually topped with onions, olives and an abundance of cheese.

Wheat is a top agricultural product in Argentina. According to the country's Ministry of Economics, wheat was the fourth most cultivated commodity in 2007. Wheat is used to make flour for empanadas, many different pastas and glazed dessert croissants called medialunas.

Other favorites include milanaesas, thin cuts of fried, breaded meat similar to German schnitzel, and provoleta, fried cheese topped with oregano. For dessert, there are plenty of different ice creams and an Argentinian favorite called ducle de leche. This thick caramel is made from cooked-down sweetened condensed milk and used as a dessert topping or sandwich cookie filling.


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