Though of course the famous beef reigns supreme, and it really does deserve its reputation, the food and wine in Argentina are bursting with culinary surprises.
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Buenos Aires demonstrates its rich culture in its food: Italian pizza and pasta, German or Italian delicatessens, English tea, Middle Eastern shawarma and alfajores, and American burgers and brunch, nearly every culinary tradition is represented in one or more of the city’s restaurants.
Dinner is served late after 9:00 pm. Buenos Aires is renowned for its steakhouses (parrillas) and this beef is what rightly puts Argentina on the culinary map. In quantity, quality and price it is a wonderland for carniphiles and while you are in Argentina do as the Argentines do, whether you are in the wilds of Patagonia or on the streets of Buenos Aires; you will be dining around fire, coals and large cuts of meat.
Breakfast is generally a French-like serving of sweet croissants (medialunas) and coffee. Argentines have a strong sweet tooth and there are many ice cream shops serving excellent ice cream where Argentines meet up until late into the night to enjoy many flavours of ice cream alongside the local Dulce de Leche delicacy.
Maté, the native tea-like beverage brewed from yerba maté leaves, is popular in the countryside and is drunk from a gourd with a metal straw; it is normally shared between people as an important social ritual.
Argentina is one of the largest wine producers in the world, and its red wines are highly prized by connoisseurs, though most production goes toward supplying high domestic consumption. In the shadow of the Andes, the wine regions in Mendoza and around Cafayate are being increasingly recognised as producing some of the best wines in the world with their high altitude, intense sunlight wines, the most famous of which are the Malbec and the Torrontes varieties.