Argentina is one of the South American countries located in the southeastern region. The country shares its boarders with Chile to the west, Atlantic Ocean and Uruguay to the east, Brazil to the northeast, Paraguay and Bolivia to the north, and Drake Passage to the south. It is among the largest countries in the world, being ranked 8th globally and 2nd in Latin America (Hedges, 7).
The country experiences various types of climates, although it is characterized by a temperate climate generally. In the northern part of the country, summers are hot and humid whereas winters are mild dry. Periodic droughts are also very common. In the southern region, cold winters and warm summers are experienced. During winter, heavy snowfall is very common particularly in mountainous parts. The central part of the Country is generally characterized by a temperate climate with cool winters, and hot summers (Brown, p.67).
In terms of terrain, the country is characterized by four major regions namely: the temperate area around Buenos Aires, semi-arid and cold Patagonian Plateau in the far south, in the west is the slopes of Andes Mountains characterized by deep woods, and swamps and subtropical woodlands in the northern region. Furthermore, the country has various lakes especially in the Andes, as well as various rivers.
The country faces kinds of external influence. For instance, the culture of the country is influenced by elements of cultures from other countries, more especially the neighboring countries. In addition, the effects of the colonial masters are still being felt up-to-date. Particularly, the country’s culture has been affected by the Spanish culture. Besides, its political aspects are also influenced by politics in the neighboring countries as well as the world in general. It is involved in various political organizations regionally and globally (Brown, 87).
Argentina is one of the fast growing economies in the world. Being one of the G-20 and G-15 major economies, economic influence is significant, especially among the Latin American countries. Its economic influence is enhanced through the various economic sectors especially tourism, industries, advanced transportation systems, agriculture, and science and technology.
The country is well-known various types of traditional foods. However, the Argentinian cuisine represents the long-lasting traditional culture of foods. The cuisine is a cultural entails a blend of influences of the Mediterranean on agricultural products and livestock which are available in abundance in the country. Argentine cuisine has been influenced with the waves of immigration over time, considering the country is among the leading countries with the largest number of immigrants. The Argentine people are unique in their eating habits, such as sharing meals during social gatherings. The cuisine is also characterized by homemade foods such as patties, French fries, and pasta in celebrations of unusual occasions (Hedges, 56).
Argentine cuisine has been influenced by various groups of people over time. Before the arrival of the European explorers, the country was inhabited by Native Indians, who were well-known for their farming activities. During the Native Indian era, sweet potatoes, melons, and squash were the common types of foods consumed in the country. Following the arrival of the European explorers and later on the increasing number of immigrants from various parts of the globe, various developments were made on Argentine cuisine. For instance, the British introduced tea, whereas the Italians came up with pizza and various types of pasta dishes (Hedges, 71).
Herbs, Spices, and Flavorings
Various types of herbs, spices and flavorings are used in the Argentine cuisine. For instance, Chimchurri (sauce of herbs), vinegar, and garlic are the common types of spices mostly used. Other spices and flavorings include: cayenne pepper, used in making chimichurri; Paprika, Spanish pepper used in preparation of beef and chicken; Oregano, applied on pizza; Bay Leaf, used in chimichurri and tomato sauce; and Nutmeg, a spice that is commonly applied in pasta dishes (Nouzeilles, and Graciela, p.17).
The cultural background of the country is associated with the various ethnic groups existing in the country. Its culture is largely influenced by European immigration as well as African and Amerindian effects. Although Spanish is the common language, more than 40 ethnic languages are spoken in the country. Besides, the architectural styles, arts, and paintings and sculptures have their roots to the Spanish colonial era (Nouzeilles and Graciela, pp. 45-48).
Brown, Jonathan C. A Brief History of Argentina. New York: Checkmark Books, 2011. Print.
Hedges, Jill. Argentina: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris, 2011. Print.
Nouzeilles, Gabriela, and Graciela R. Montaldo. The Argentina Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. Internet resource.