As Jenna has gloriously showed us, food is one of the main cultural aspects of studying abroad. The food culture of Argentina is as different from Italy as it is from the US. Honestly, I think it might be one of the hardest things to get used to here.
While BC Dining does its best to be ever more sustainable and offer healthier options, Argentine fare is much more carnivorous and unabashedly hardy. The fact that the average Argentine remains much slimmer than the average American remains a source of constant mystery amongst my fellow abroad peers. The simple fact is, beef is a staple of the Argentine diet.
While it is easy (and delicious) enough to find your fair share of beef in savory, ubiquitous empanadas or greasy, cheap chorizo sandwiches (called “choripan”), the centerpiece of the Argentine meal is the “parrilla.”
Today’s Word: Parrilla (pa-rree-juh)
The parrilla is the star of any true Argentine feast as it refers to the enormous grill upon which a host of meat products reach their undeniably delicious state. I’m not talking about your average barbeque here. There are no measly hotdogs or shifty burgers from the frozen food aisle. The parrilla means business…
On the parrilla, delicious “asados”, or roasts, are cooked. While all types of meat are available, the focus here is really on the juicy, tender Argentine beef. Despite the fact that my diet otherwise mostly consists of peanut butter, and I am normally rather steak-averse, a good asado is like nothing else my taste buds have ever encountered.
At the beginning of my stay in Argentina, my life felt a little like an "Epic Meal Time" episode, only substitute the bacon for dulce de leche and the whiskey for Malbec. Although my jeans may be a little snug, I no longer despair missing out on the impending barbeque season in the states. Viva la parrilla!