Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ways Eating Habits Differ In Argentina Versus the U.S.

My family has a saying, “You’ll never starve in Argentina”. With so many supermarkets, meat markets and bakeries, I don’t doubt it. The thing I love the most about Argentinean food is the flavor. Everything has such a naturally delicious taste, whether it’s beef, chicken, pork, a banana, apple, grapefruit, cheese, or ice cream.

One thing that sticks out is the fact that products have a longer expiration time than in the United States. A great example is the milk. In the states the milk will last you about two weeks at best. In Argentina the milk lasts for months. You can also cook chicken or meat here, and if well refrigerated, will stay preserved, delicious an edible for a week or perhaps a bit more.
For the average Argentinean household, breakfast consists of tea, Mate, or coffee, and is accompanied with pastries. The most popular is “la media luna”, aka croissant. Lunch is usually a heavier meal than in the United States. The only exception to this is if you’re a student or have a really hectic schedule. Then you’ll find yourself sampling fast food restaurants. Tea time is around 5pm. Then dinner is served anywhere from 8 to 10pm. It’s usually a lighter meal, though not always, and this varies among provinces. By U.S. standards this might seem like an extremely unhealthy way to eat but Argentineans are in relatively good health and they are long lived. My maternal and paternal grandparents for example lived to their mid and late 80’s. My father, who turns 70 this year, looks like he’s in his late 50s, and my mother, who is in her mid 60s, looks like she’s in her mid 50s. I can only hope that by immersing myself in the food and lifestyle of Argentinean life, I will be granted a long healthy life as well.

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