Region: 
Patagonia
Explore images
Images: 
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Academia Argentina de Gastronomia image
Explore information
Flavours of the region: 

Patagonian Food

Dr. Ignacio Gutiérrez Zaldívar

Patagonia and Tango are the two iconic symbols of our beloved Argentina. A virginal and ecologically preserved land inhabited by people who are a melting pot of different cultures and races, as is our Argentine population.

Our Patagonia begins south of the Rio Colorado, a vast area whose surface is larger than most of the countries in the world.

There are mountain areas and green valleys such as Alto Valle. Some species, such as lambs and trout have managed to find their perfect habitat in this region.

The lamb is served young, under one year old, and the lechal is only some weeks old and achieves a particular flavor in Patagonia.

The red deer was introduced in 1904 in La Pampa province and today there are large quantities of them throughout the Patagonian region.

The trout has a special flavor and is smaller than in most countries; it was introduced for sport fly fishing and today is one of the most delicious dishes.

The rosa mosqueta is a local fruit that is the result of the development of the wild rose plant and has been used to make marmalades and infusions for more than a century. Chocolate has unique features and is the most desired local product. The wild boar was also introduced by European immigrants and is one of the delights of Patagonian food. The guanaco and rhea (ñandú) are the stars of the New Patagonian Food together with wild edible flowers that surprise with new flavors.

The Patagonian seafood is of superior quality and perhaps the black hake is the best delight for fish lovers. It is very simply prepared with pine or cypress mushrooms sauce (morillas) and sautéed with butter and green onions or almonds and lemon with black butter or herbs sauce.

In Gnaiman, Chubut there is a Welsh colony that makes the most amazing tortas negras (small cakes covered with black sugar).

The quality of the wines is excellent due to the region’s low temperatures. The most outstanding labels are those produced in San Francisco del Cheñar Valley located in the Neuquén province. The aromatic and seductive white Sauvignon, the extraordinary Pinot Noir and the classic Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. In Bariloche, there are brewers of different beers of original tastes.

The Beagle Channel’s low temperatures give the fish their special flavor. The crab is wonderful and the Antarctic vieyra is caught in nets and processed right on the fishing boats. The prawns are unforgettable and as nice as the sound of a Piazzola tango. The salmon is one of the best in the world!

Sweets must not be left aside since they are local and a wonderful product - the raspberries above all. Do not forget to order cheese and smoked meats which are served on big wooden boards.

That person who wishes to return to Patagonia should carry the memory of the Calafate liquor, the Welsh pies, the stuffed trout, the grilled lamb simply prepared with no added ingredient, or al Oporto, the small octopus from San Antonio prepared al cognac, the Mapuche curanto and the Cassis sauce.

There are a dozen international restaurants that would deserve a thousand stars but it is not the way it works in the region.

If Paradise exists, it is in the Patagonia for sure. Ignacio Gutierrez Zaldivar.

More info: 

When should I travel? The weather in Argentina’s southernmost region is colder than the rest of the country, which is why we recommend visiting during the summer (December to March) for both the Andes and the coast areas. If skiing is the goal of the trip, the high season is July and August. And to watch whales, it should be spring (September to November). The northern region can be visited in the autumn (March to May).

Average Temperatures:
Bariloche: 6°C/43°F (winter); 18°C/64°F (summer)
El Calafate: -2°C/28°F (winter); 19°C/66°F (summer)
Ushuaia: 0°C/32°F (winter); 9°C/48°F (summer).

How do I get there? Buenos Aires is the departure point for flights to the main cities in the region (Santa Rosa, Neuquén, San Martín de los Andes, Bariloche, Puerto Madryn, Comodoro Rivadavia, Neuquén, Viedma, Esquel, Río Gallegos, El Calafate, Río Grande and Ushuaia) with flights that range from 1:19 to 3:40 hours. You can also fly from Bariloche to Mendoza, in the Cuyo Region, and to Salta, in the North. Cars and buses are convenient options for traveling within the region, although you should keep in mind that the distances can be very long.
 

Regional dishes: 

Centolla Fueguina a la Parmesana (Tierra del Fuego Crab with Parmesan Cheese)

While the best way to eat this crustacean is plain or with little salt and lemon, it also supports other preparations as shown here.

Ingredients:

500 gr. fresh crab meat
200 gr. grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. milk cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Add salt and pepper to crab meat and distribute evenly in a baking dish.

Cover with the Parmesan cheese and cream. Bake and broil. Remove from the oven and serve.

Cordero a la Parrilla (Grilled Lamb)

The lands of Patagonia offer an excellent setting for breeding sheep. The extensive landscape with few natural pastures forces the animals to walk long distances to eat, making them lean and tasty.

Ingredients (14 servings):

½ small Patagonian lamb
2 glasses of white wine
1 sprig of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. powdered chili pepper
5 tbsp. coarse salt

Preparation:

Mix the ingredients (mashed garlic, not diced) to make a dressing. Marinate the lamb for approximately 3 hours in dressing.

Prepare a good amount of embers from wood. Clean the grill and make sure that it is at a sufficient distance from the heat source, as cooking the lamb is a slow and long process.

Support the lamb on the bone side, lower the grill 10 min., and maintain it close to fire in order to mark it. Then, move the grill back up. Roast for 4 hours on low heat and brush regularly with dressing.

Trucha en Papillote (Trout in Papillote)

These salmonids are well known in the southern lands. Even in Rio Grande, examples exist that comfortably exceed 10 kg. Moreover, they are the ultimate trophy for foreign fishermen.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

4 medium gutted trout cut in half
4 sheets tin foil
2 ripe tomatoes
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Peel and chop the tomatoes concasé. Add salt and pepper to trout. Glaze with oil and season with lemon zest and white wine. Place the diced tomatoes inside the trout and close.

Place each trout in the middle of tin foil sheets and seal each. Place in a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at a moderate temperature. Remove from the oven and serve with the garnish of your choice.