July 31, 2004

Argentinian cuisine and the All-Protein diet

If there is one thing synonymous with Argentina, it is beef.

Argentinians love their beef, in all its glory. And with good reason, I might add.

A few nights ago, I had my first Argentinian steak. What a steak it was. Nobody who has spent their lives in Canada has ever eaten such a steak as that one. Sorry Alberta, you don't hold a candle to Argentina.

It was the most juicy, flavourful, delicious steak that I have ever had the good fortune to taste. It was not the way it was seasoned. I don't think there was anything added other than a bit of salt. It was not the way it was cooked. "Cooked" is a fairly poor description of how I like to eat my steak. The beef itself was simply superior to any other beef I've ever experienced. The cows themselves must be some breed of über-cow. Either that or maybe they're just not pumped full of steroids and growth hormones here. Or maybe they just have bigger and better steroids.

Whatever the reason, it was one tasty steak. And it was huge - a solid inch thick, or maybe more, and it took up most of the plate. And it was cheap too. The steak, a side of mashed potatoes, and a Heiniken to wash it down set me back about 6 dollars. Pretty spectacular.

A steakhouse in Argentina is known as a "Parrilla", and usually when you walk in there's a massive wood-fired grill off to one side, completely covered with an assortment of animal parts. It's awesome. They serve this dish called a "Parrillada", usually for at least 2 people. After you order it, they bring you an iron mini-grill with a bed of embers below, and atop the grill is a heaping portion of various incarnations of protein. There is everything - a couple steaks, but also sausages, ribs, liver, blood sausage, and other tasty parts that I couldn't recognise. We ordered a 3-person parrillada for lunch and split it between 4, and there was no way we could finish everything. It was insane.

Then we waited a few hours and went out for steaks.

Posted by major at July 31, 2004 05:31 PM

Hehehehehehe! Ewwwwwwwwwwww!

Posted by: Jen at August 3, 2004 01:02 AM

Apparently, Argentinian beef tastes better and is more tender because their cattle are free-range and eat grass. North American beef cattle are kept in barns, never move and are force-fed grain (well, when they're not being fed sheep brains). That way, beef farmers don't need lots of pasture and their cattle are ready for market sooner.

So, I forgive you for the comment about Alberta. Because it's true.

Posted by: Evan at August 14, 2004 10:55 AM
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