As far as everyone but me is concerned, every culinary interest is dwarfed by the almost religious fervor devoted to the art that is the "Asado" grilling technique also called Parillada.
The phrase "religious fervor" is not enough to describe the Argentine mind when dedicated to the task of grilling some fresh steak. It's more akin to a beautiful brainwashing; culinary obsession by indoctrination. Just as despotic governments brainwash their youngest, most impressionable minds with tales of the revolutions and the great oppressors, Argentine schools inflict wonderfully mandatory knowledge of every dairy product available in the country.
From the great liberation of the Roan shorthorn to the people's Aberdeen Angus to every sweet morsel of every bovine in the country. The children leave elementary school with an in-depth knowledge of every piece and part of every cow. Ask any Argentine and they can tell you about the distinction between the rib-eye, the shoulder, the rib. Pay attention, because you'll be tested on this later.
If you're lucky, you'll have your very own beef re-educator, who will explain to you the sins of our sauces, whether it be barbecue or Bernaise. I had my host's Uncle, Tio Luis, who tutored me and my group and now I understand that those syrupy infiltrators are just to hide the rancid quality of our inferior, processed, cloned, 'roided-up super-meat. Sorry, Dad.
But what about those extravagant barbecue competitions you've read about? That donkey with the bleached tips on TV? The advice the vegan butcher told you at Whole Foods? And everything else you thought that you knew about putting a piece of meat onto an open flame? Leave it at EZE.
The meat is simple. There is good meat everywhere in the country. Our butcher in Villa De Las Rosas (a town big enough to contain only one butcher,) could not have been happier to help the foreigners purchase some good meat.
Charcoal bricks? Propane? No. Go find some wood. Argentine trees taste fabulous.
Cook Slow, Salt Often. You drink some wine (we're getting there,) you smoke a cigarette, you talk to the people you'll be sharing your meat with (who you must love to be doing so.)
For slightly more thorough advice, go to the IPVCA, or do as you told, and just Ask An Argentine.
Leave the sauces to the side, unless it's chimichuri, a spiced relish, which is very good but not necessary. See that green and red shit on the right of the picture? Don't eat that. This is Argentina. No one comes here to eat leaves.
Don't forget to put some Chorizo and Morcilla onto the grill. Chorizo is a mouth-watering red pork sausage and Morcilla is a black blood sausage that is not at all unlike it's English and Irish brethren, and just as hardy, to boot. Not only do these taste great, but they cook faster on the grill than the other meats, so they make for perfect appetizers.
Because of the quick cooking, Chorizo is a prized street food throughout the country. You'd be more likely to find it in it's sandwich form, also known as "choripan." The chorizo gets put on the grill right in front of you, the chorizo is butterflied down the middle and then gets placed in a thick bun of crunchy bread. Chimichurri sauce is optional, but a cold Quilmes really is not.
OK, you should now be quite "irregular" from your diet consisting solely of beef and pork accompanied by limited amounts of cheese. It's no wonder that two of Argentina's favorite beverages of choice are Fernet Branca (A bitter spirit) and the dry unfiltered tea, Yerba Mate, are both known diuretics.
If none of that works, visit your nearest farmacia for some laxatives. This writer recommends ducolax. It should be right next to the nearest Empanaderia.
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