Argentina is often referred to as the meat capital of the world and on our most recent trip down to South America, we learned why. In 1536 when the first Spanish conquistadors settled the land in Argentina they brought with them the first ever cattle to the area and allowed them to roam the countryside freely. A beefs quality is directly derives from the grass the cattle feeds on and unlike other countries Argentine cattle are not fed on grain in feedlots but allowed are raised eating natural grass and they freely graze the lands.
Shortly after their production values increased and became a major export of the area, landowners began to build major fortunes from breeding cattle, lending way to the creation of estancias all across the country. The Argentine beef and it's production have played a major part in the culture and traditions including the asado - a traditional barbecue that happens all across the country with a variety of different meats on open charcoal or wood grills.
Pork and beef grill being prepared by members of the estancia after rising with the sun to hunt for dinner. Dove skewers wrapped in bacon and lined with bell pepper were also added to the grill above an open charcoal fire pit. The technique of the asado is much different than a regular barbecue, it's a much slower process and puts emphasis on slightly smoking the meat than sealing it with flavor.
Dinners at typical Argentina parillas are indicative of the popularity of beef consumption in the area. A typical menu ranges in the types of meat offered from split lamb on skewers to smaller assorted beef and lamb mix grills. We sampled a bacon wrapped filet along side some traditional beef stuff empanadas with chimichurri sauce keeping warm on the cool night in our Quarter Zip Sweater in Navy.
See more from our trip to South America in the Dove Hunting in Argentina Over + Under Journal.