asado

#FoodFriday Appreciating asado, the Argentinian barbeque

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re going to Argentina for a hell lot of barbecued meat.

Before I went to Argentina, I thought I knew barbecue. To me, BBQ is a time when friends gather around and put dainty raw meat such as chicken wings, hotdogs and maybe some slices of meat on top of some charcoal.

Only wimps eat BBQ chicken wings.
Only wimps eat BBQ chicken wings.

Then on my second night, the Buenos Aires hotel I stayed at had a BBQ Thursday. Just hand over 70 pesos and you can eat all you want. When I heard of the event, I thought about how many chicken wings I can eat (many many!) and was glad that beef is popular in Argentina. Now I can replenish my iron supply!

But when I saw the barbecue pit and the meat on it, I realized how wrong I was about Argentina’s BBQ. Those were not chicken wings on the grill, those were huge chunks of meat (fatty parts included without apologies), wrist-sized sausages and half chickens.

Oh, I have to explain. Here, carne (meat) refers to beef.

BBQ pit at my Buenos Aires hostel
BBQ pit at my Buenos Aires hostel

Some of the guests from the US requested beef that was bleeding, not realizing that different cuts are used for BBQ. Unfortunately, the guys at the hostel didn’t really cook the meat enough so I was feeling a bit queasy after just a few bites.

Not very appetizing asado at the hostel BBQ
Not very appetizing asado at the hostel BBQ

Later in the supermarket, I saw a huge part of the meat section devoted for barbeque meat. They looked more like large intestines than meat.

Much better asado at restaurants

After the asado at the hostel, I was quick to dismiss Argentinian asado. But one day, I met the best barbecued meat of my life at a restaurant in Iguazu.

The restaurant is called Vaca Verde (Green Cow) and the owner was a really friendly old man who recommended the house’s asado.

Proper parilla in restaurant
Proper parilla in restaurant

The meat that came out looked a bit charred but the taste was marvelous. The slightly burnt skin tasted sour but the meat was sweet. I gobbled down my share quickly but I wanted more. More of this beautiful meat.

I dreamt about this plate of asado once. It was beautiful.
I dreamt about this plate of asado once. It was beautiful.

After the meal, my brain was still hooked on it. I even had a dream where I was served something that tasted exactly the same. Alas, I have not had the dream since then.

Which country serves the best barbeque? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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