Argentineans are serious about their asados (barbecue). Want to know how serious?
When I traveled to Argentina to meet my family there for the first time (apparently, some of my Italian ancestors got on a different boat than my great grandparents…), one of my relatives invited me to their country house for an asado so that I could meet the rest of the family.
I was expecting a mansion with fields of green grass, maybe a few horses grazing in the pasture, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. Instead, I found a quaint, open-air structure that was built for the family’s weekly asado. There were no grand parlors or game rooms. Heck, there weren’t even any bedrooms (there was a bathroom though). Instead, there was a giant parrilla (grill), a makeshift kitchen, and an open-air dining room with rows of tables and chairs.
Yes, their country house had one purpose – it was a place to eat meat. Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone as Argentina eats more beef than any other country, according to the 2015 OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook.
Let’s put it in numbers! On average, Argentinians consume 92 pounds of beef a year versus 54 pounds in the United States, and 23 in the European Union. The best way to experience Argentina and all its gluttony is through an asado.