The Foods eaten by the people of Argentina

Argentine cuisine is shaped by a variety of influences, including indigenous cultures, European immigrants (particularly from Spain and Italy), and neighboring Latin American countries. Over the last 500 years, Argentina's culinary landscape has evolved, but certain key elements have remained relatively consistent.

Indigenous Period and Early Colonial Times:

  • Maize: Consumed as a staple, often in the form of "humita," a steamed or boiled corn pudding.
  • Potatoes: Native to the Andean region, potatoes have been consumed for centuries.
  • Squash: Various types of squash were and still are part of the diet.
  • Game Meat: Llamas, guanacos, and local deer were among the meats consumed by indigenous peoples.
  • Fish: In riverine and coastal areas, fish were a significant part of the diet.

European Influence and Modern Period:

  • Beef: Argentina is famous for its beef, and it has been a staple for hundreds of years. Asado, or barbecued beef, is a cultural institution.
  • Wheat: Bread and pastries, influenced by Spanish and Italian traditions, are common. Empanadas, turnovers filled with meat or cheese, are popular.
  • Pasta: Italian immigration brought pasta into the mainstream, including dishes like "fideos" and "ñoquis" (gnocchi).
  • Dairy: Cheese and milk are consumed, with some local varieties like "Reggianito," an Argentine cheese similar to Parmesan.

Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Tomatoes and Peppers: Adopted from the New World but now integral to many dishes.
  • Citrus Fruits: Oranges and lemons are commonly used for juices and flavoring.


  • Beans: Consumed in various forms, often in stews like "locro," a dish that also includes corn and sausage.


  • Yerba Mate: An herbal tea consumed socially and ritually, yerba mate has been a staple for centuries.
  • Wine: Particularly Malbec, has been popular for hundreds of years, thanks to Spanish influence.
  • Coffee: Widely consumed, especially in cafes.

Sweets and Desserts:

  • Dulce de Leche: A sweet milk-based spread used in various desserts.
  • Alfajores: A traditional dessert that is a sandwich-like cookie filled with dulce de leche.


  • While not as prevalent as beef, fish like "pejerrey" (silverside) and "surubí" (a type of catfish) are consumed, especially in riverine areas.

Over time, the diversification of Argentine cuisine has accelerated, especially with globalization and the arrival of new immigrant groups. However, the base of the diet—centered around beef, grains like wheat and maize, and local fruits and vegetables—has remained relatively consistent over the last 500 years.

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