February 27, 2024

What Do Argentinians Eat on Christmas?

When it comes to Christmas in Argentina, stop thinking about the traditional snow-capped buildings and traditional Christmas dinners including turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. and jingle bells, Argentina during Christmas doesn’t follow all the “traditions”. In this article, I will share some of the top recipes and dishes that people enjoy […]

Jason Pittock

February 27, 2024

When it comes to Christmas in Argentina, stop thinking about the traditional snow-capped buildings and traditional Christmas dinners including turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. and jingle bells, Argentina during Christmas doesn’t follow all the “traditions”. In this article, I will share some of the top recipes and dishes that people enjoy around this festive time. Not to mention a good Asado!

Argentinean Food During Christmas

What do Argentineans eat during Christmas? Argentineans enjoy both cold foods, grilled meats, sweet cakes, and other delicacies. The Christmas time for Argentine is considered important and beyond just food, it has become a statement of family reunion and “pause” from daily activities.

A lengthy table, loved ones gathered together, and an abundant variety of foods either brought to the table or prepared on the spot to be shared on Christmas Eve. In Argentina, it’s a tradition for families to prepare a generous amount of food to celebrate Christmas, and the leftovers typically serve as the family’s meals for several days afterward.

There are traditional dishes that make a recurring appearance in most households across the country every Christmas. Many of these dishes consist of cold foods that can be prepared in advance.

If there’s one thing that defines Argentinians, it’s their commitment to traditions. Christmas is synonymous with a lengthy table, the entire family coming together, exchanging gifts, and indulging in the customary Christmas Eve dishes, which often last until noon on the 25th.

Considering the climate is crucial when planning the Christmas menu, and during the summer months, cold dishes are the preferred choice. While individual families may have their preferences, there are five typical recipes for this occasion that you’ll find on every Argentine table.

Vitel toné

For many Argentinians, Christmas isn’t complete without Vitel Toné. It’s a beloved dish, with some choosing it as an appetizer and others opting for it as the main course.

While there are various versions of this recipe, it essentially involves slices of veal (peceto) with a sauce made from anchovies, tuna, mayonnaise, and capers. The veal is usually poached, thinly sliced, and then generously coated with a flavorful sauce. This combination of savory ingredients creates a unique and delicious flavor profile that has become a Christmas tradition in Argentina.

vitel tone dish Argentinians Eat on Christmas

Vitel toné holds historical significance in Argentine cuisine, as immigrants from the Piedmont region in Italy brought it to our country. The dish reflects the culinary influence of Italian immigrants who enriched the local gastronomy with their traditional recipes. Over the years, it has evolved and adapted to local tastes, becoming an integral part of the festive season.

Whether served cold or at room temperature, Vitel Toné is a staple on Christmas tables across the country. Its rich and savory taste, coupled with the cultural history behind it, makes it a cherished component of the Argentine holiday culinary experience.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad, also known as “Mayonesa de ave,” earns its name from including chicken breast chunks and a generous portion of homemade mayonnaise. This flavorful dish is further enriched with diced boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, and olives. The substantial amount of the primary dressing plays a crucial role in uniting all the elements of this delightful recipe.

Best enjoyed chilled, this salad is versatile, serving both as an appetizer and a complement to the main course. Many individuals opt for this dish, especially when accompanying hot meats. It’s worth noting that this preparation is akin to the popular Russian salad, sharing similar ingredients except for the chicken.

The combination of textures and flavors in Chicken Salad creates a satisfying culinary experience. The tender chicken, creamy mayonnaise, and the assortment of vegetables provide a delightful contrast that appeals to a wide range of palates. Whether served at festive gatherings or casual meals, this dish has become a staple, celebrated for its versatility and delicious blend of ingredients.

 Asado

Argentine barbecue, a Christmas night essential, holds a prominent place as one of the country’s most traditional and beloved meals. The festive season is often marked by the sizzling sounds of grills firing up, creating an atmosphere of culinary celebration. This renowned dish is versatile, featuring a variety of options such as beef, succulent suckling pig, flavorful pork, savory chicken, and even grilled vegetables.

The inclusive nature of Argentine barbecue ensures that it caters to a diverse range of preferences, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans seeking a festive and flavorful alternative during the holiday season. The rich tradition of firing up the grill on Christmas night reflects the cultural significance of this culinary delight in Argentine festivities.

Pancake Tower

True to its name, the Pancake Tower is a delectable dish featuring layers of pancakes stacked high, each tier separated by an array of diverse ingredients. This culinary masterpiece offers a canvas for creativity, allowing individuals to tailor it to their unique preferences.

The foundation of the Pancake Tower typically consists of the delightful fluffiness of pancakes. However, the layers that follow are limited only by one’s imagination. Enthusiasts often experiment with ingredients such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, ham, carrots, olives, lettuce, tuna, bell peppers, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and an endless array of other options. The beauty of the Pancake Tower lies in its versatility, providing a delightful medley of flavors and textures.

For those seeking an extra kick of flavor, some variations of the tower incorporate ingredients like guacamole, ketchup, and tender bits of chicken breast. These additions bring an exciting twist, enhancing the overall taste profile. Whether savory or sweet, the Pancake Tower becomes a culinary playground where every layer can be a unique expression of personal taste.

Matambre arrollado

Also known as chicken roll, is a versatile dish that offers a delightful alternative to the classic beef version. While the traditional recipe uses beef, opting for chicken introduces a unique and equally flavorful twist. The preparation involves flattening chicken meat, creating a delectable filling, and rolling it into a log, which is then baked in the oven.

This culinary creation aims to craft a cold cut using the tender chicken and its flavorful stuffing. The result is a savory dish enjoyed best when served cold, making it an ideal appetizer. Matambre arrollado can be presented on its own with a complementing sauce or alongside a simple salad, providing a refreshing and satisfying start to a meal.

The versatility of this recipe extends to the filling, allowing for creative customization based on personal preferences. Common ingredients include a variety of cold cuts, olives, bell peppers, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, and fresh parsley. These elements not only add layers of taste and texture but also contribute to the visual appeal of the rolled chicken.

Savory Pionono

Savory Pionono, a delectable treat often relished as an appetizer or a prelude to the main course, features a rolled sponge cake generously filled with a delightful array of ingredients. This culinary creation showcases a harmonious combination of flavors, incorporating elements like hard-boiled eggs, savory ham, tuna, cheese, and crisp lettuce. The versatility of savory Pionono extends further, embracing the addition of tomatoes, olives, and a medley of condiments such as mayonnaise, golf sauce, or spreadable cheese.

This dish offers a delightful play of textures and tastes, with the soft and light sponge cake providing the perfect canvas for the savory symphony within. Whether served at gatherings, parties, or as an appetizing starter to a family meal, savory Pionono has become a cherished part of culinary traditions, enticing taste buds with its diverse and delightful combination of ingredients. The possibilities for customization are vast, allowing for a creative exploration of flavors that suit individual preferences and occasions.

Summary
What Do Argentinians Eat on Christmas?
Article Name
What Do Argentinians Eat on Christmas?
Description
Christmas in Argentina skips snow, turkey dinners, and classic jingles, embracing unique traditions instead. In this article we will review 5 Argentine dishes.
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Publisher Name
Argentine Asado

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