Argentine Culture: the Asado

Argentina is a country known throughout the world for it’s beef production.  In recent years export of their higher quality beef and lamb meats has risen, changing the market within the country.  Regardless of changing markets, Argentina still reigns as the country of the best griller masters in the world.  The Argentine grilling (a more complex form of a barbeque) is called an asado.  Normally people all partake in a payment of the meat, which generally includes sausages and a cut or two of beef or lamb, which is later accompanied by some form of salad, bread and a wine.  The sausage, which cooks faster than most of the cut meats, is generally eaten as an appetizer.

There are many different techniques for grilling the meat depending on the cut.  The most common grill is called a parilla, an adjustable grill that is set in a columnar chimney-style concrete frame (see images below).  The coals are prepared using various types of wood (depending on what part of the country you are in).  In La Pampa the most common wood is calden; however, many forms of wood can be bought at local stores.

Another form of grilling is done over larger fires.  This is generally for very large asados where a whole animal is grilled.  Below is a lamb that was grilled with salt (the most common way of grilling meat is simply with salt, though sometimes spices such as paprika, oregano, thyme and pepper are used) for a large asado held for about 30 people (firefighters and families) after a prescribed fire out in the La Pampa country side.  Everyone grabbed a chunk of bread, split it open and put a chunk of meat inside with a bit of salad.

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About svej1argentina

Hi! My name is Lauren and I am a graduate student at New Mexico State University in the department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. My current residence is in La Pampa, Argentina working on an international collaboration project on State-and-Transition Modeling and Ecological Site Description of the Caldenal Ecoregion. Coordination of the project has involved professionals from NMSU, USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, and Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) and has had financial support from Aggies Go Global. Our goal is to develop a spatial perspective of the Caldenal through field sampling, modeling and statistical analysis and create a base for management planning and strategies implemented at the landowner and gubernatorial levels.
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