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Mi Buenos Aires Querido| Argentina | Culture

Arte

European influences can be found everywhere in the Argentine art, architecture and lifestyle. When it comes to literature, though, a broader cultural mix prevails, which gave birth to internationally known authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Ernesto Sábato, Manuel Puig and Osvaldo Soriano.

Argentina is an important cultural pole, with countless museums and art galleries, besides its vigorous theater community. Their cinema has also been internationally praised and commonly used as a vehicle to disclose the horribleness of the last military dictatorship.

There are two typical music styles in the country, representing two different regions. The tango, at one hand, is more representative of Buenos Aires and became the country's music symbol abroad. Nowadays, it's somehow regarded as cult music and has its loyal followers, not being a largely popular style though. And at the other hand, the so-called folklore, which better represents the rest of the country and whose main artists are Mercedes Sosa, Horacio Guarany, Los Nocheros, Soledad, among others. Cuarteto and cumbia are other music styles that were originated in the inner country and are now widely accepted.

Regarding non-traditional styles, there is the good Buenos Aires rock and pop, represented by music icons such as Charly García, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Fito Páez, Gustavo Ceratti (ex Soda Stereo), Diego Torres, among others.

     
Esportes
 

The soccer is the most popular sport in Argentina without any doubt, and inspires such intense passions. The two main teams are the arch-enemies Boca Juniors and River Plate.

Argentines do well in several other sports, ie. polo (world champions), rugby (world top 5), feminine hockey (recent world champions), car racing, boxing, skiing, hunting and fishing. Lately, the demand on extreme sports has started to grow. Basketball is also attracting greater interest thanks to the brilliant performance shown by Manuel Ginobili (or simply Manu), now a NBA champion.

  River
   
Boca
             
Alimentação

The beef is the primary Argentine dish. Their version of the barbecue is called asado (beef grilled on an open fire pit) and it's a must when you gather with family and friends on weekends. Besides the meat itself it's also very common to eat spicy sausages (chorizo), kidneys (riñones), sweetbreads (molleja) and small intestines (chinchulines): the famous parillada mixta. Bread and salad are the perfect side dishes. During the week days, they prefer to eat milanesas (breaded meat filets).

Being as appreciated as meat, the Italian food and its traditional pasta are also quite common. Though the variety is big, the top dishes are spaghettis (fideos), gnochis and delicious filled pasta such as sorrentinos, canelones and lasagnas. Last but not least, the pizza is always welcome and in Argentina they taste really superb and there are lots of toppings.

The traditional cuisine is called criolla and is represented by the empanadas – salty pastries which can be filled with meat, chicken, ham and cheese, etc. The regional cuisine offers dishes such as matambre (rolled stuffed steak cut in slices and served cold), locro and carbonada (meat and vegetable stews).

When it comes to drinks, one can perfectly claim that wines (vinos) in Argentina are really popular. You will find budget versions that come in tetrabrick packaging as well as the top quality selections that have made the country a renowned wine producer.

However, mate is the most traditional drink and is also very popular. It's similar to tea but it's more of a way of socializing than a plain beverage. The most common way to prepare it is to fill 2/3 of a gourd (also called mate) with the leaves of the yerba plant (available in every market), put a silver straw on it (bombilla) and then pour hot water. When the gourd is filled with water, the leaves expand and fill the mate. Some people also prefer to add some sugar.

One typical drink is the clericó, a kind of fruit salad in a jar, immersed in plenty of wine and soda. It's ideal to share with friends.

Argentina is also home to some excellent desserts. Ice cream or helado is particularly good, especially from shops that make their own.

The alfajor is a traditional and very popular sweet layered pastry which reminds a yo-yo. It's commonly filled with dulce de leche (caramelized milk) and coated with chocolate. The most famous alfajores in Argentina are manufactured in Mar del Plata but can be found anywhere in the country.

 
 

In the breakfast or just before the evening, Argentines enjoy eating facturas, a general name used to indicate medialunas (croissants) and a variety of other pastry and baked goods, some of them filled with dulce de leche or fruit jam.

 

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