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Food in Argentina is very unique compared to the food that people in the United States are accustomed to. Even if some food may be similar to American customs, the preparation and style of these foods still may vary. However, to understand the food of Argentina, one must first know about this South American country. The origins of the inhabitants of Argentina, as well as the land they live on affect the food that they eat. The financial situation of the country also influences what Argentinians eat. These factors, along with many others, determine what food the people of Argentine eat, along with how much they eat. Therefore, Argentinian food would not be the way it is today if not for globalization and other factors affecting the country.
Spanish explorer Juan Diaz De Salis founded Argentina in 1516, and the country remained a Spanish colony until 1816. Argentina is now the second largest country in South America, and also has a population of 37,384,816. The capital of the country is Buenos Aries, and more than forty percent of the population lives there. Today, Spanish is the official language of Argentina, and eighty five percent of Argentina’s citizens are from European decent. Along with Spanish, Italian and many other languages are spoken in Argentina. Because the country consists of people from many different descents, Argentina’s cuisine comes from all around the world. The country borders Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile, which also allows for the cuisine from these countries to integrate into Argentinian culture. Globalization affects Argentina’s food today because the origins of the nation’s inhabitants, along with the country’s location itself.
Another factor that affects the countries food is the nation’s economy. Currently, Argentina is in an economic crisis. Despite Argentina being a quite educated country, with the overall literacy rate being 96% for the country, it is still hard for many to make a living. A shocking 26.9% of all Argentinians live below the poverty line, and the average income for the country is US$7,550. The nation is in such an economic crisis that recently, the country’s currency has devalued by 30%. One of the major problems for the country is that there are not many jobs, so many middle-class students in Argentina are being forced to find low-paying jobs otherwise they will become stuck with no income at all. Because of the horrible financial situations in this country, it becomes hard for many people to attain the food they require to eat. What makes it even harder for these people is that prices for food are rising at ridiculous rates. As one lady spoke about the corn that she usually buys, “Today, it’s 58 australis , last week it was 45.” Argentina’s economy is brutally affecting the food in this country because it is becoming nearly impossible for Argentinians to afford the food they need to survive.
Argentina is an extremely long country; in fact, it stretches 3,800Km long. This stretch of land covers different types of climates, which makes different areas of the country more suitable for certain food production than others. Moreover, some of this land is not very suitable for production at all either. However, the land that is suitable for production is used in different ways so that the country does not only have food for itself, but it is able to be Latin America’s largest exporter of food and other agricultural products.
Argentina’s food production relies heavily on agriculture and livestock. Argentina grows four main crops, which are wheat, corn, soybean, and sunflower. These crops make up ninety percent of the countries agriculture. Because these crops are helping to improve the economy, Argentina has been performing deforestation to make more room for agriculture. Along with agriculture, Argentina has a great amount of livestock. Argentina annually produces 2.7 million tonnes of meat. In 2000, the country had 55 million head of cattle, 14 million sheep, 3.2 million pigs, and 3.3 million horses. Although not all of these animals were used for food, the large quantities of these animals suggest that even a portion of the livestock would provide vast amounts of food.
Argentina’s terrain and climate vary throughout the country, making different areas suitable for different types of production. The northern portion of the country provides rich, fertile lands and a perfect climate for both agriculture and livestock. As you move lower in the country the terrain because more rough, as it also does to the west due to the Andes Mountains. However, both these areas still provide decent opportunities for agriculture and livestock. Conversely, in the south of the country, the conditions are much worse. This is because the southeast becomes more of a dry, arid area and the southwest has a sub-Antarctic climate. Although agriculture and livestock and the main food productions in Argentina, it is hard to maximize these industries due to the climate and terrain of these areas.
The most common Argentinian cuisine must be able to flourish in the countries climate and terrain while still being affordable and favorable to the people. Because the cuisine must fit certain descriptions, steak and beef have become very common to Argentinians. Meat is common to the people because when the Spanish settled the land in the 1500’s, they brought with them cattle, which has since provided Argentinians meat. It is also reasonably affordable because of the abundance of livestock in the country. Since the Spanish brought over cattle, many types of forms of meat have been brought to the country. Two of the most popular variations of meat are bife a caballo, or beef on horseback, which is steak with an egg on the top of it, and asado con cuero, which is roast beef that is cooked over a fire with hair and hide. Argentinians also developed parrillada, which consists of blood sausage, ribs, and other meats that are all grilled together. Through globalization, Argentinians found a common cuisine in beef and steak that permits a diverse nation to share a common cuisine, despite the economic turmoil and varying climate/terrain of their nation today.
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