Meat: a typical gaucho's diet

Typical diet of a gaucho

The gaucho had a diet that has become a part of Argentina’s traditions.

A gaucho’s diet was composed mainly of meat, especially beef. A popular phrase said by gauchos was “Todo bicho que camina va a parar al asador” meaning that any animal that walks can be eaten, whether it is a pig, sheep, chicken, rabbit or fish. Only, in cases of dire need and famine, a gaucho lowered himself to eating horse, dog, or domestic cat meat.

A typical gaucho barbecue consisted of beef ribs (or goat or sheep) roasted on a cross and the cow’s meat roasted on embers (a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire).

The asado is the most widespread gaucho tradition, historically done “a la cruz”. This means the portions of meat were left hanging on an iron spit in the shape of a cross that is stuck in the ground around a wood stove. The roast is usually accompanied by achuras or bowel meats (like morcilla, chorizo, kidneys, gizzards and guts). It was usually eaten while standing up, cutting the meat with the knife accompanying it with bread.

Other typical foods of the gauchos of Argentina include empanadas, locro, humita, arrope or the different stews.

The gauchos commonly drink mate, a tea made from the leaves of the yerba tree, as a non-alcoholic infusion. For alcoholic beverages, they drink in a relatively moderate way wines, cane and more rarely gin. These were consumed to accompany meals or at meetings in the pulperías. Today gauchos continue to eat and drink these foods typical of that time.

Would you like to try eating like a gaucho?

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