December 1, 2006

Mucho Meat
Rosario, Argentina

I'm seeing some interesting eating/drinking culture here in Rosario.

I'm told so much wine is consumed with meals (on a daily basis) that many Argentineans opt to cut it with another beverage. The most popular that I've seen has been red wine halved with Coca Cola or soda water. I'm told the Coke cutting is common in Spain.

The sight of cubes of ice floating in both red and white wine is also common.

Soda water is a popular choice of drink—seeing it mixed with orange flavored Tang this afternoon was an interesting twist.

Socializing Over Steak

It almost seems like social suicide if you don't eat meat in Argentina—I have yet to encounter a vegetarian. Asados, or barbecues, seem to be a important part of the lifestyle.

Participating in an Argentinean evening asado guarantees that you'll be having a late night. Meat goes on the grill sometime after 9:00, slow cooked until around 11:00. Wine and/or beer, conversation, steak—repeat.

Following a casual drink (or two) and quick shower after the meal, folks are ready go out to a bar or nightclub. The time: 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning. You won't get home until 6:00 (at the earliest).

Sleep for six hours, wake up at noon—eat the leftover steak (cold, with mayonnaise) and drink maté or perhaps red wine with ice.

Welcome to the asado.

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