It has just finished raining, so the leaves are plastered to the ground like a carpet. The air has just adopted that crisp tingle associated with changing leaves, and a breeze is making me shiver in my sweatshirt that is juuuuuust light enough to be too cold for this new fall weather.
I’m in a pumpkin patch, tiptoeing through mud puddles and eyeballing the orange produce that surrounds me. I’m on a mission.
Today, I’m looking for the perfect pumpkin. I need something fairly uniform. Not too tall, not too squat. I need a pumpkin that’s a perfect sphere, and I need it to be between 11-13 pounds.
This mission isn’t what you think. I’m not finding this pumpkin so that I can carve a scary face into the flesh and put it on my doorstep. No… my pumpkin is serving a different purpose today.
I’m in search of a pumpkin that will be the perfect soup pot.
MHMM! This week is Argentina week, which means I’m whipping up some classic Argentinian food… including Carbonada, a stew with beef, vegetables, and dried fruit, served inside of a pumpkin!
Argentina week was splendid, if I do say so myself. There wasn’t a single dish that I didn’t like, and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers for days. Personal favorites this week were the dulce de leche and the chimichurri sauce, and Papa Foreign Fork was a huuuuuuge fan of the empanadas. Most of these dishes were pretty simple, so do me a favor and cook ‘em all… then tell me your favorite! Make my day people, and leave a comment about what you think!!
On the Menu
- Carbonada e Zapallo (Soup in a Baked Pumpkin Shell)
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Empanadas (Pastry Filled with Beef, Onions, and Eggs)
- Dulce de leche (Milk Based Caramel)
- Alfajores (Cookie Sandwich with Dulce de Leche Fillig)
Fun Facts about Argentina
Argentina was such a fun country to learn about. From beautiful scenery to family-centered traditions to great history, Argentina has it all. Here are some fun facts about Argentina that I find amazing!:
- Gauchos are the names of the cowboys that used to roam the Pampas grasslands regions of the country. They watched over cattle and lived off the land, normally eating nothing but beef and maté (a famous Argentinian drink I’ll explain if ya keep scrolling)
- There is a cave in Patagonia that displays paintings of hands that are 9,300 years old
- 500 years ago, three children were sacrificed in an Incan religious ceremony at the top of a 20,000 foot volcano in Argentina. Their bodies froze, and the high altitude ensured that they never thawed fully. When they were discovered in 1999, they were still perfectly preserved and are now the best preserved mummies in the history of the world (WHOOOOOAAAAAA)
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS:
- Instead of the tooth fairy, Argentinian children are visited by the tooth mouse, which crawls under the pillows of children and steals their lost teeth (and leaves coins if the children are good)
- The most popular holiday in Argentina is July 20, which is Friendship Day. So many people call their friends on this day that sometimes the phone towers crash!
- Pope Francis is from Argentina
Influence on Argentina
Though Argentina has experienced an intense economic history, the country now has one of the highest incomes per person in the South American continent. Argentina is also one the most urbanized cities in the world; about 92.8% of Argentinians live in a city!
The history of Argentina has shown quite a bit of immigration throughout the years. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, people from Russia, France, Japan, Wales, Holland, Syria, and Poland arrived in Argentina. One of the largest groups of immigrants, though, were Italians, who brought their love for Italian food to the country. To this day, pizza and gelato are classic favorites in Argentina!
Flavors of Argentina
Hands down, the most popular food in Argentina is beef. In 1998, the average Argentinian ate 220 pounds of beef in a year (for reference, Americans eat 74 pounds). That number reduced to 149 pounds in 2013. Most Argentinians enjoy their beef in the form of asado, or barbeque, and it’s not uncommon for one worker to leave the office before lunchtime to buy beef for their colleagues to roast for an office meal!
Locro (stew) and maté (a drink made of yerba plant leaves soaked in water) are the other two national dishes of the country. Submarino, warm, sugared milk with a piece of chocolate at the bottom of the glass, is a favorite among the children of Argentina and is usually drank at breakfast. This drink accompanies medialunas, or half-moon shaped croissants to round out a light, sugar-filled breakfast.
Food Culture and Dining Styles of Argentina
Most people in Argentina take a 3-4 hour break during the day, often reserved for relaxing or napping. This means that dinner doesn’t begin until 10:00 pm, and restaurants are open until 2:00 am! Nightlife doesn’t even begin until midnight or later. Argentinians eat a light breakfast, a large lunch between 12 and 3, an afternoon tea, and then a huge dinner in the evening.