Asado in Pampa Argentina

Asado in Pampa Argentina

Asado Pampa Argentina consists of meat, usually a large piece from the animal´s ribs (“asado de costilla”), that is roasted on a iron spit on embers made of wood for 4/5 hours in an open space.


“The beef diet must have a wonderful effect in hardening and strengthening the gauchos: they scarcely ever have anything the matter with them…”(Hinchliff – 1863)


Today, the main dish in the Buenos Aires Pampa is beef cooked in a grill with embers made of a native tree like espinillo and some others.


And if there exists one style of eating that defines an Argentina person in the eyes fo the foreigner, it is the Argentina asado originally produced by the gauchos.


old gaucho estancia asado pampa argentina

The asado pampa argentina


Identified by the use of the parrilla, this primitive form of cooking meat, the lifeblood of the gaucho and the dwellers of the vast pampas, and later adopted by towns-people and Buenos Aires city folk, is the trademark of our national gastronomy.


From its simplest to its most opulent form, it is almost impossible to tour around the country without coming face to face with a parrilla at work.


Buenos Aires gaucho tour with argentine beef asado barbecue

The famous asado argentino


Today´s asado pampa argentina, prepared on the parrilla, is a far cry from the roasts of yesterday in the Estancias.

Asado in History:

An Italian Jesuit, Cayetano Cattaneo, wrote about his experiences while travelling horseback riding the pampa Argentina at the start of the 18th century, including a description of the manner of cooking adopted by the “guazos” ( gauchos ).


“No less curious is their way of eating meat. They kill a cow or bull and while some cut its throat the others commence to dismember it so that in a quarter of an hour it is all in pieces on the beach. A fire is then lit and each one fashions a spit with a stick on which they impale two or three pieces of meat which is still warm, to them it is tender.

The spits are stuck in the ground, slightly inclined towards the fire… In less than a quarter of an hour, when the meat is barely browned, it is devoured however tough it may be and however much blood it sprays around.”


asado tour in pampa

Asado gaucho style


This illustrates two things quite clearly: the spit came before the grill on the pampas (though not in the hills and mountains of the Northwest), and Argentina tastes have changed substantially since those days.

Today it is difficult to find an Argentina person who eats meat that is not overcooked when not almost burnt.


Concolorcorvo, the traveller and writer: “Many times four or five of them (the gauchos) gather on horseback with the pretext to have a good time, taking with them no more than their lazo (lasso), their boleadoras and a knife. They decide to eat a cow or steer; it is brought down, tied by its feet and, almost still alive, remove from it the hide which is pricked on the side with meat and roasted, badly and half raw to be eaten with no other dressing but salt, if they have any with them.”


Those were the days when the asado had invaded the houses of ill repute, the dance halls, and – above all – the political committees who obtained votes by means of abundant promises, wine and asado.


The asado pampa argentina at the Gaucho Festival

The asado pampa argentina at the Gaucho Festival


Asado pampa argentina partially extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet


Where you can have an Asado Pampa Argentina

You can enjoy your own empanadas while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco

For booking the most Real gauchos Tour Buenos Aires Areco Estancia


Foodie Tour to San Antonio de Areco Town & Estancia : Contact for Foodie Tour Estancia San Antonio de Areco


Si prefiere leer en Español: aquí tiene un sitio donde explican sobre el Asado Argentino

The Areco boliches

The Areco boliches

The Areco boliches : After the Parrillas (steak restaurant in Argentina), which we can find in a tour all around us in Buenos Aires, we should consider the “boliches” as a true reflection of the reality today: save by a few nostalgic old timers and their aged customers, their main support in these times.

(Experience the best Foodie Tour in Estancia Buenos Aires)


The small towns and gaucho villages in the pampa and possible the quieter, more traditional outer suburbs of Buenos Aires are hosting many of these boliches.


gaucho bar areco

Bars and gauchos


Gastronomy in a Areco Boliches

They do not aspire to be more than modest suppliers of simple food, often offering no more than the days specials plus the possibility of preparing some short order (not always available) to their frequent patrons. In many cases they overlap with the parrillas (steakhouses) because they too have a simple grill to hand.


general store estancia

Bar and general store


If not a grill (Argentine barbecue), then a hotplate is a frequent alternative. The fare is very basic, being mainly stews and pasta, with a tour to basic desserts as cheese and membrillo (quince jam) or a flan.

They are the solution for local villagers or a peon working in an Estancia with a very limited budget.


bar buenos aires pampa

Old gaucho bar


Drinks at a Gaucho bar:

Some boliches are providing some quite simple sandwiches or “picada” (like tapas in Spain) to their customers, just as a perfect excuse to have some drinks (normally cheap liquors) and wine meanwhile. If the customer do not end the whole bottle of wine, it is kept closed by the “bolichero” till next day when the patron will return for the rest.

Some of the normal drinks are quite basic liquors with a high density of alcohol: caña, grapa, ginebra, or “vermouth” like the very popular “fernet”. There is no room for scotch, cognac, etc.


fernet argentina buenos aires

The Fernet


The more ambitious aim a little higher with the objective of luring the truck trade tour on routes and major highways crossing Estancias all over Argentina. Truckers love to eat well and cheaply.


In San Antonio de Areco there are many areco boliches for the gauchos that remain as they were originally: Same decoration, furnitures and belonging to the same family.

Extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet


areco boliches buenos aires

One of the Areco Boliches


You can enjoy your own stews, picadas and fernet liquor while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco

For experiencing some sort of old gaucho pulperia bar try this: Day trip to the gaucho Town and Estancia


All the information of the Foodie Tour: find Restaurants en San Antonio de Areco, also Pizzerías y Empanadas en San Antonio de Areco

Gaucho Pulperias in the pampa

Gaucho Pulperias in the pampa

The gaucho pulperias in the pampa (popular name for a sort of bar or tavern) was the main place of reunion and entertainment for both rural gauchos and urban popular sectors until the close of the XIX century.
They were places where popular classes found possibilities to share the “freedom” to drink, to play, to negociate, to manifest their disagreement and express everything that was repressed by the stiff rules of social control during that period in Argentina.


Pulperias established within the confines of estancias, or accompanying troops on their way to the frontier in the pampa, acted as the fundamental venues for these bonds. They reinforced ties between “boss and peon” or among armed men.

The characteristics of the pampas inhabitants made this specific form of sociability unique even within traditional sociability. The instability of work, liiving arrangements, and forms of family life made it difficult to establish lasting bonds.


Gauchos at the old gaucho pulperias

Gauchos at the old gaucho pulperias


Social reason for the gaucho pulperias

The weakness of social ties made the situation of the rural population more akin to that of the individual in modern society than to that faced by a member of colonial society in Buenos Aires. The type of egualitarian relationships that flourished in the pulperias was yet another characteristic that distinguished these social encounters from those found in a traditionally hierarchical society.


Moreover, since the pulperia was the only meeting place for an isolated and heterogeneous population of gauchos working in Estancias, it was not only a center for spreading the news – a necessary condition for any modern political culture – but also a place to sing folkloric songs and recite poetry, the cultural forms in which gauchos’ sorrows and joys were expressed.


In other words, it was a forum for “gaucho discourse,” instituted on the basis of the traditional sense of liberty and equality.


Extracted from: Revolution and Restoration: The Rearrangement of Power in Argentina, 1776-1860 edited by Mark D. Szuchman, Jonathan Charles Brown: This and some other related thoughts in: The gaucho experience


Todays gaucho pulperias

Todays gaucho pulperias


Travellers at a Gaucho Pulperias:

The pulperias in Argentina are the rendezvous of the gauchos, who set no value upon money, and spend it only in gambling and drinking. Their custom is to invite all present gauchos to drink with them; they have a large pitcher full of canespirit (for they dislike wine), which they pass round.

This ceremony they repeat so long as they have a penny left, and they consider it as an affront if any one declines the invitation.


Every pulperia nearby an Estancia is provided with a guitar, and whoever plays on it is treated at the expense of the company. These musicians of the pampa never sing any other than a continuous tour of yarabys, or Peruvian songs, which are the most monotonous and dismal in the world. The tone is lamentable, and they always turn upon a tour of disappointed love, and lovers deploring their pains in deserts; but never treat of lively, agreeable, or even indifferent subjects.


Some gauchos at the pulperias

Some gauchos at the pulperias


After all, these gaucho pulperias in the pampa, miserable as they are, are not much inferior to some of the inns, as they are called, in Spain herself. It is very true, that in the larger post-towns improvements have been made of late years in the accommodations for travelers; but in other situations, where they are obliged to remain during perhaps the whole night after a long day trip, the buildings are literally nothing better than huts, or low public-houses frequented by the poorest peasantry: they sometimes do not consist of two stories, or even of two rooms, but a separation is made by a curtain, the harbour of all kinds of filth and vermin.


At the pulperia near Buenos Aires they are frequently provided with a guitar, but the performaces upon it are the most wretched that can be imagined.

Picturesque Illustrations of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video: By Emeric Essex Vidal


How you can visit a real pulperia:

For experiencing some sort of old gaucho pulperia bar try this: Day trip to the gaucho Town and Estancia


The gaucho empanadas etiquette

The gaucho empanadas etiquette

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.


The rules of the empanadas etiquette

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.



Eating empandas at the estancia

Eating empandas at the estancia


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.


How to follow the empanadas etiquette

How to follow the empanadas etiquette


How the empanada is stuffed

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

Gaucho empanadas

Gaucho empanadas

Gaucho Empanadas are everywhere, ranging from elegant cocktail parties in Buenos Aires to rough and ready outdoors barbecues in an Estancia with the company of the gauchos.


Many beef restaurants in Buenos Aires and around the country serve a complementary empanada to keep you happy while you face difficult task of choosing from the menu.


Gaucho empanadas as popular food

Pizza parlours and take-away food shops deliver a tour of piping hot empanadas at the call of a phone. Gaucho wives pride themselves on their special style of empanadas, and the filling is still a carefully kept secret.


gaucho empanadas in estancia el ombu

Gaucho empanadas in estancia el ombu



The basics for making an empanada appear to be simple, and they are, yet a number of important and subtle touches are necessary.


The pastry is part of the secret and the heat of the oven of frying fat also has its influence.


The key of an empanada

Gaucho empanadas experts insist that the most important factor of all is how the filling is prepared, at least when this is based on beef, which comprises something like 80% of empanadas eaten in Argentina.


A true gaucho empanadas has its beef finely chopped by hand, not passed through the mincer. This is an important point to bear in mind because the juciness of the meat – and the final juiciness of the filling – depends almost wholly on this factor.


A mincer squeezes much of the juice out of the meat, and if used at high speed and for more than a minute or two, heats up the blades and cooks the beef slightly.

Using a sharp knife by hand produces a natural mince wich retains all the basic goodness of the meat.



hot gaucho empanadas

Fried empanadas



Argentine gaucho empanadas are either fried or baked, and the pastry used is prepared accordingly. But most pastry is multipurpose: any pastry made with lard, butter or margarine is apt for frying and baking.

( you can check the customers reviews of the empanadas in this page )

In all cases the filling is cooked before, so it is essential that the process should be rapid, just time enough to brown the pastry and heat the contents. Very hot fat for frying and a very hot oven for baking is this essential.


Extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet


You can enjoy your own gaucho empanadas while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Full Day Tour Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco


If you prefer to stay overnight to enjoy many different times the gaucho empanadas look for great Estancia lodging here

Gaucho Walt Disney in Argentina

Gaucho Walt Disney in Argentina

The american gaucho: Walt Disney in Argentina


Why Walt Disney visit Argentina

In 1941, on the eve of America’s entry to World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to curb the influence of Nazis and fascists in South America.

So the President enlisted someone who embodied the American capitalist spirit: Walt Disney. Guest host Mandalit del Barco talks to film director Ted Thomas, who’s new documentary ”Walt & El Grupo” chronicles Walt Disney‘s adventure and public relations mission to South America:


gaucho mickey mouse

Sketch of a gaucho Mickey Mouse


“The Argentine theme, on the contrary, was not so easy, nor so obvious.

Here was a temperate country, with none of the glamour of the rich jungle background of flora and fauna. The most conspicuous common denominator of understanding was the pampas and the hardy colorful gauchos. The vast seas of grass, the simple humor and hardships of those rugged  horsemen of the plains seemed the source and the clue to our best efforts.”


The gaucho walt disney in argentina

The gaucho walt disney in argentina


The focus in Argentina

Gaucho culture became the group’s primary focus. Ted Sears’s pretrip story suggestions for a gaucho series were now augmented with direct primary research into the customs, costumes, and lore of the real gauchos.

Members of the group visited gaucho museums and gaucho libraries, attended gaucho concerts, and entertained authorities on gaucho culture at the Alvear Palace.


disney gaucho folcloric dance

Disney dancing Argentine Folklore


Larry Lansburgh took his pursuit a step further by going to Mataderos Municipal stockyards to see working gauchos in action. After putting his command of Spanish to the rest, explaining his purpose there, Lansburgh was allowed inside.


Thanks to Jim Brodero´s contacts, the entire group was invited to a tour in an all-day asado, an Argentine version of an outdoor barbecue, at Estancia El Carmen on Sunday, 14 September.


disney gaucho in Estancia

Walt Disney dressed like a Gaucho


How was the visit of Walt Disney

This was the first sight of the Argentine pampa countryside for the group as whole, and the artists feasted on a banquet of mouthwatering food, sketched animal and plant life, shot copious amount of 16mm film and still pictures, and were treated to an exhibition of gaucho riding and roping.


The locals enjoyed costuming Walt Disney in Argentina as real gaucho. This was a token of their sincere affection for him and, happily, he looked the part. “He had the dark eyebrows and the dark eyes and the mustache” Herb Ryman later pointed out.


Extracted from the book: South of the border with Disney by J. B. Kaufman


disney gaucho dress

Walt Disney in Argentina


You can visit this and some other gauchos museums, galleries and culture attractions in this Tour: Estancia and Gaucho Town Day Tour

Also in Spanish: Orígenes de las Estancias de Buenos Aires

More information here: Full Day Tour Estancia with Argentine Beef and horseback riding

Best gaucho experience in the Pampas near Buenos Aires

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