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Cuisine in Uruguay


Uruguayan Food is traditionally based on its European roots. Mediterranean foods, especially from Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Many foods from those countries such as pasta, sausages and desserts are common in the nation's diet. The Uruguayan barbecue, asado, is one of the most exquisit and famous in the world. A sweet paste, Dulce de Leche is the national obsession, used to fill cookies, cakes, pancakes, milhojas and alfajores. The alfajores are shortbread cookies sandwiched together with Dulce de Leche or a fruit paste. Dulce de Leche is used also in flan con Dulce de Leche. The national drink is the Grappamiel. Grappamiel is an alcoholic drink which is very popular in rural areas. It is made with alcohol and honey. It is often consumed in the cold mornings of autumn and winter to warm up the body.

A traditional thing, is an infusion called mate. The dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant (Ilex paraguariensis) are placed in a small cup. The drink is sipped through a metal or cane straw called bombilla. Hot water is poured into the gourd at near-boiling point so as to not burn the herb and spoil the flavour.

Traditional Dishes

• Asado: both the tradition of grilling beef over coals (which translates to barbecue in American English), and the dish, "tira de asado".

• Canadian Chivito: a sandwich containing steak, ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

• Choripan: a very popular Uruguayan fast food. A grilled sausage and a crusty bread such as a baguette, with tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise.

• Empanada: a small pie or turnover, most commonly filled with meat or ham and cheese.

• Empanada Gallega: a fish pie, with sauce, onions and green peppers. Brought by the immigrants from Galicia.

• Frankfurters: the typically Uruguayan hot dog.

• Gnocchi (known as ñoquis) is traditionally eaten on the 29th day of each month. This was the day before payday, when people were at their poorest. Gnocchi made a cheap and hearty meal. On these occasions, some people leave a banknote under the plate to attract prosperity.

• Hungarians: very similar to the Frankfurter, but very spicy.

• Milanesa: a thin, breaded steak. There is a great variety, such as: Milanesa Napolitana, Milanesa Rellena and Suprema Maryland.

• Lehmeyun: an Armenian dish, brought by the Armenian immigrants.

• Pascualina: a spinach pie, not unlike the spinach pies found throughout the Mediterranean the name makes a reference to Pascua, 'Easter'.

• Pastel de carne: in English: meat pie. Chopped meat, smash potatoes, green peppers, olives, eggs.

• Russian salad: potatoes, carrots, peas and mayonnaise.

Due to its strong Italian tradition, in Uruguay you can find all the famous Italian pasta dishes: ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna, tortellini, fettuccine, cannelloni, fusilli, agnolotti, tagliatelle, capellini, vermicelli, penne rigatti, fagioloni, cellentani, rotini, bucatini, farfalle and the traditional gnocchi. Although the pasta can be served with a lot of sauces, there is one special sauce that was created by Uruguayans. The Caruso Sauce Is a pasta sauce made from double cream, meat extract, onions, ham and mushrooms. It is very popular with sorrentinos and agnolotti. Also, there is a huge variety of pizza. As well as calzone, fugazzetas, figazzas, fainas and cheese fainas.

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