The gaucho empanadas etiquette: Enjoying an empanada in Argentina involves more than just biting into one and receiving satisfaction.
According to the experts, an empanada should be eaten correctly to be properly enjoyed:
– Empanadas are finger-food if ever there was. The whole idea of an empanada is to be able to eat something with ones fingers without getting those fingers dirty or sticky.
– Hold your empanada by one tip and cautiously bite off the other tip. This is important, because if the empanada is really hot and juicy, a puff of hot steam will spurt out and could burn your tongue or lip.
– Wrap a napkin around your wrist so that the hot juice which should run in a tour out of your empanada does not cause any damage. Empanada stains are hard to remove.
– While empanadas are enjoyable anywhere and at any time, they seem to taste better when eaten standing up and out of doors, in an Estancia, preferably along-side a sizzling, enticing Argentina parrillada (barbecue)
– An empanada is best washed down with a nice glass of red wine, Argentine preferably.
Gaucho empanadas etiquette also includes how many empanadas a host or caterer should provide depends as much upon the size and filling and the occasion.
When the empanada is served us as an appetizer before a meal, it is usual to calculate one or two normal sized empanadas per person. If it is to be the main player in a meal, five or six are considered normal.
With a genuine regional empanada from an Estancia in Buenos Aires, it is essential to wrap a napkin. True conaisseurs like gauchos would shake their empanada before taking the first bite, thus evenly distributing the juice over all the filling.
Beef is not the only filling used, although it is the most popular. Other meats, such as chicken and lamb and even pork can be used, while other popular fillings include mozzarella, cheese and onion, humita (creamed corn), and almost anything fertile imagination can think up.
Extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet
You can enjoy your own empanadas while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancia: Full Day Tour Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco