Now, I like me a bit of food, and do seem to eat rather a lot and rather well here in Buenos Aires so I’ve decided to document some of the food that is considered typical here. In order to do this I will have to go out and buy the food, remember to take a picture of it, and eat the food. It’s a dirty job, but for you, O Faithful Reader, I am prepared to make the sacrifice.
So, today I will start with what could be considered as the bedrock of Argentinian fast food.
Meet the Choripan. So called from the name of the sausage (Chorizo) and the fact it’s served in bread (pan). A slight digression here on the word Chorizo. In Spain, it refers to a thinly sliced, spicy cured sausage. Here it refers to the pork sausage you see above, unless you’re talking about a Bife de Chorizo which is a sirloin steak.
So anyway, the choripan is the Argentine version of the burger, or the kebab. the national portable meat served in bread snack. In true Argentinian fashion, it is not messed with in any way when it arrives on your plate. Enter into any Parrilla (a restaurant containing a huge charcoal grill, which serves bascially meat and little else and pronounced, here at least, paree-sha) and above the grill will be a stack of already cooked Chorizos. When a Choripan is ordered, the sausage is taken from the top rack, sliced in half, butterfly style, and placed innard-down on the grill. Once nicely browned, it’s removed and put in between 2 bits of bread. No gherkins, no ketchup, no lettuce, no tomato. That’s it.
However, you are of course free to add your own condiments, most usually this will be a liberal dollop of the wonderfully named chimichurri, a mix of oil, vinegar, garlic and chili. Occasionally there will be a little bowl of chopped onion and tomato salsa, which goes nicely with the bread, but it’s the chimichurri that really does the business.
So, there you have it – the perfect lunchtime snack, pre-drinking preparation or post-bar munchies. It really does do it all, why do you need anything else? And as a bonus, my local Parrilla is all decked out in traditional gaucho style, which makes me think of English Narrowboat decorations. Here are two of the tables: