8 Popular Christmas Dishes in Argentina
In Argentina, Christmas is celebrated at the beginning of summer. These are very hot days in almost the entire country, which you would think would mean light, cold, low-calorie dishes.
However, almost all of our Christmas food could well be served to celebrate Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. This is due to the migration of Europeans, who not only brought their dreams and their work, but also filled this land with their culture and tradition.
Without further ado, let’s round-up Argentina’s most popular Christmas foods.
1. Grilled suckling pig
On Christmas night, the star is the grilled suckling pig – whole, half or a quarter – eaten hot or cold. It takes between five and seven hours to cook, which has taken on a ritual of its own.
Those who prefer not to spend so much time stoking a fire take the suckling pig to a nearby bakery to be cooked in the wood-fired oven. It is accompanied with the typical chimichurri, a preparation of oil, oregano, and ground chili.
Of course, the typical asado (roast) occupies an important place in an Argentinian Christmas. Argentina is a traditionally meat-eating country thanks to the high-quality beef it produces and because meat is much cheaper in Argentina than in other parts of the world.
The most popular cuts are those on the bone, such as ribs. But meat product such as chorizo, black pudding, and all kinds of offal are also common to be grilled in Argentina. They are accompanied by salads and, of course, served with a good red wine.
While suckling pig and asado are the main Christmas dishes in Argentina, let’s have a look at some popular entrées.
3. Stuffed Pionono
Stuffed Pionono is a semi-sweet dough filled with a variety of ingredients. In general, mayonnaise is spread over the dough and then layers of ham and cheese are added, plus a boiled egg, bell peppers, and olives.
You can also replace the ham with tuna. Everything is rolled up and cut into slices. It is fresh and delicious and goes well with salads.
4. Vitel Toné
Vitel Toné is a dish of French origin. It is made with lean meat, previously boiled and cut into very thin slices, covered with a natural mayonnaise prepared with eggs, oil, and anchovies.
Then it is decorated with capers.
5. Waldorf Salad
This salad is the star accompaniment for both the suckling pig and the starters. It’s made with celery, green apples, and walnuts. The dressing is a mixture of mayonnaise and heavy cream.
6. Russian Salad
This is very typical dish on Argentinean Christmas tables because it goes so well with the suckling pig. Russian salad is prepared with diced boiled potatoes and carrots, peas and a mayonnaise-based dressing.
7. Stuffed Tomatoes
These are often found on a typical Christmas table. The tomatoes are hollowed out and stuffed with rice mixed with tuna, olives, boiled egg, and mayonnaise.
8. Popular Christmas Desserts in Argentina
And of course, we cannot forget the desserts. Because so many calories have by now been consumed, a seasonal fruit salad is the queen of desserts. It can be served alone, with ice cream or with Chantilly cream.
Other Argentineans prefer ice cream or frozen cakes to crown the festive meal.
You might think that by now we are done, but no! The story does not end here because after dessert, people wait until midnight to bring in Christmas day with a toast, accompanied by a selection of confitures.
Peanut nougat, pralines, almonds, chocolate-dipped hazelnuts, mantecol (a peanut butter-based paste) and the inevitable pan dulce, or panettone. This sweet bread stuffed with dried fruits is a delicacy that counteracts the bitterness of sparkling drinks.
Cheers and Merry Christmas!
Related: Most Popular Argentinean Foods
Related: 10 Popular Argentinean Desserts