Tango Capital - Buenos Aires Argentina
Located on the southeastern coast of the South American continent, Buenos Aires serves as the capital of Argentina. Not only is Buenos Aires the largest city in Argentina, it is also the second largest metropolitan area in all of South America, and the starting point for many Argentina tours.
Buenos Aires History
The city was initially founded in 1556 by Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza, but a second, more successful settlement was established late in the 1500s by Spaniard Juan de Garay. Later centuries saw Buenos Aires expand thanks to the trade that passed through the city’s port. Argentina’s “Dirty War” from 1976-1983 had an immense effect on the citizens of Buenos Aires as many disappeared at the hands of the government. Since then, Buenos Aires has bounced back from numerous political and economic crises and is today a popular tourist destination.
Buenos Aires Vacation Highlights
Sometimes referred to as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires has been influenced by European culture and lays claim to a lively theatre industry as well as many museums. Recent years have witnessed a surge in tourism. Whether it’s taking in a tango show (or perhaps even a lesson), learning about notable historical figures like Evita or enjoying the nightlife and artistic scene, Buenos Aires offers a great deal on an Argentina vacation.
Argentina is known worldwide for its culinary traditions. Home to a large meat-eating population, Argentina is famous for the quality of meat that is served and beef is a prominent ingredient in many dishes. Buenos Aires, the capital, is a very metropolitan city and as such, many Japanese, Thai and Asian fusion menus are becoming more and more popular.
Popular dishes include:
Bife de chorizo and Bife de lomo: Bife de chorizo is a rump or sirloin steak, while Bife de lomo is tenderloin or filet mignon. A chimichurri sauce is the most common accompaniment with beef dishes and it is made up of garlic, parsley, vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Empanadas: This dish is made up of savoury pastries that are filled with both meat and vegetable options. This is a favourite meal throughout the country and therefore, each part of Argentina has their own way of preparing and filling empanadas.
Asado: This dish is a popular way of cooking meats (beef, pork, lamb and goat) as well as vegetables on a barbecue.
Milanesa: Another beef dish, milanesa is breaded meat that can be served as a main course, but is also a popular sandwich filling and is often eaten as a snack.
Carbonada: This is a stew that combines potatoes, meat, pumpkin and corn that is often baked inside of a pumpkin.
Alfajores: This is a favourite Argentine dessert that resembles shortbread cookies which are served with dulce de leche (caramelised milk sauce).
Argentinian wine has become famous and well respected internationally and the country has grown to be one of the largest wine producers in the world. Argentina hosts many renowned wine regions with the majority being centred around Mendoza which is r
esponsible for 60% of the country’s total production. In terms of beer, Quilmes is considered the national lager. A more traditional Argentine drink is mate, a tea-like drink that is made from yerba mate leaves that have been steeped in hot water and is drunk with a metal straw.
Things to know:
Argentinian people tend to dine quite late in comparison to North American culture. Many consider 21:00 to be too early for dinner. The country offers great nightlife, particularly in Buenos Aires. Tipping 15% is an acceptable tip, providing customers are satisfied with the service they receive.
The people of Argentina are very social and the most common greeting is to kiss both cheeks. It is not uncommon for people to touch whilst in conversation and maintaining eye contact is very important. Evening meals are often very late, especially by North American standards. It is rare for dinner to be served before 21:00. While the major cities are quite fashion forward, clothing does not have to be very formal, but should be relatively conservative.
Spanish is the official language of Argentina, however, English is widely spoken in many parts of the country. French and German are also spoken, but in a lesser capacity.
The majority of Argentina’s population (more than 90%) follow the Roman Catholic religion. A further 2% of the population identify as Protestant and there Muslim and Jewish minorities.