Uruguayan foods are traditionally prepared mostly by either roasting or boiling, but with time, locals have incorporated frying technique to try more delicious recipes. For a long time, they didn’t bother about heavy breakfast and made do with coffee and sweet pastries, or maximum a sandwich, but that is not the case anymore as people are opting for healthier and tastier items. Similarly, vegan preparations were not so popular but some restaurants are coming up with only vegan foods, making it popular across the country.
It is mostly meat and fish that their cuisine centers around, but what is more striking is that the variations of sauces and salads they offer.
1. Chivito – A Traditional Breakfast Food
What is it: A sandwich prepared with beef steak stuffing within buns. The national dish of Uruguay has variations regarding its additional ingredients but the meat remains the same. The term ‘Chivito’ means young goat or kid in Argentina. There is a story when an Argentine woman ordered a Chivito sandwich, hoping to get goat meat, but the restaurant didn’t have that and made the sandwich with beef steak instead. Since then, that recipe has become an absolute staple.
There is an annual Chivito Day that is celebrated near the third week of October. Choripan is another similar popular sandwich preparation with similar filling.
What does it taste like: The wholesome sandwich has a mixed taste of mozzarella, mayonnaise, tomatoes, green or black olives, bacon, ham, eggs, fried red peppers, red beets, and cucumbers. It could be used as a breakfast option and as a meal when served with accompaniments like French fries( finger foods) and Russian salads.
2. Asado – A Typical Meal
What is it: Barbecued beef prepared on a grill tool known as ‘Asador’. The person who sells this is also called ‘Asador’. Beef is replaced with fish, pork, or lamb, especially during festivals.
What does it taste like: The smoky taste is sometimes enhanced when you have paprika flavored Spanish sausage. Typically served with salads and bread, stuffed peppers, condiments like mojo, meat sauce like chimichurri and wine.
3. Figazza – A Famous Food
What is it: An onion pizza made with an oven-baked flatbread known as focaccia. This is essentially an Argentine influence in Uruguayan Cuisine and popularly called Fugazza in Argentina.
What does it taste like: The crusty and airy bread has a pizza base like texture and the toppings of onion, pepper and Parmesan cheese make it light yet tasty.
4. Pastafrola – A Popular Food from Uruguay
What is it: A circular-shaped tart preparation filled with jam and decorated with thin lattice in a criss-cross pattern. The filling could vary from sweet potato jam or Dulce de Batata to quince jelly. Sometimes, strawberry jam or guava is used as well.
What does it taste like: The shortcrust pastry has a sweetening taste because of the filling. Consume it with the South American beverage known as concoction Mate.
5. Budín Inglés – Traditional Holiday Preparation
What is it: This is a pudding with lots of fruits or simply a fruitcake. The country of Uruguay is known for pastries, cakes, custards, and this one particular confectionery item is essential for Christmas or New Years’ celebration.
What does it taste like: The flavors of food and the taste of chocolate create an unforgettable taste, making it perfect for a carnival.
There are many more dishes that you would like to taste like Pasteles(empandas), Alfajores (spongy dougs) representing the country’s culinary best. The conflux of multiple South American countries’ influence has made some wonderful foods in the gastronomy of Uruguay.