Living in Buenos Aires or anywhere else in Argentina for hat matter means going out to at least one asado. Some might say an asado is just your typical BBQ’s with different kinds of meat, and in a way they are, but they are also much more than that. From my own experience an Argentinian asado is about pride, culture and friendship. I have been lucky enough to been a part of five asados so far with the hope of getting a good amount of more in before I leave this beautiful country.
My first asado was actually one where my good friend Francisco Galindo, a Venezuelan, invited me over to one that he was having with his friends in Rosario. It was here that I first felt this pride, culture and friendship that comes with an asado. When I arrived to Rosario, Francisco asked me if I wanted to go to an asado and who was I to say no, so of course I accepted his invitation. The asado took place a little bit away from the center of Rosario towards the outskirts and lower income areas. I, coming from Valparaizo Zacatecas, was not at all phased by this but my friend Francisco made sure to tell me, that this asado we were going to was going to be a small one with some good humble people.
The house was a little 2 bedroom, one story place with a small patio and a little garage. The father of Franciscos friend is a carpenter so there were machines and wood all over the garage which we had to go through. They kept apologizing for the mess for which I kept on saying it was no big deal. Now unfortunately at this time it had started to rain a little bit but nothing drastic, Franciscos friend was still able to continue the cooking of the meet in the parrilla that was in this little patio between the garage and the main house.
The house reminded me a lot of the feeling I get when I visit my home town in Mexico. That warm cozy feeling you get when you go to one of your Tias house and see a few pictures of the family on the wall but not much more. The thought of sitting down in an old table that might not be the fanciest but for some reason feels like it’s the best table ever. But the best feeling I felt was that warmth and friendliness of the host. They took me in without hesitation and made sure I was comfortable. Talked to me like I had been part of the group of friends from the start. Not once did I feel an awkwardness or a feeling of being in the wrong place.
Unfortunately for us the rain picked up and started to downpour putting a hamper on the food. It had to be taken away from the parrilla and put in the oven so the meal itself did not come out as great as I’m sure it would have had it not rained. The picadas were great, those came out before the rain and its there that I learned what a picada was. It is basically the meat appetizer for the full course meat entrée that you will enjoy later on. What you do is cook a few chorisos or sausages ahead of time and since they usually take less time to cook then a Tira de Asado, Vacio or bondiola these are the first thing that the asado party enjoys. They are cut into small bite size pieces and eaten as a mini sandwich with bread and salad to get the meal started. It is a great way to get some food in the guest since people are gathered around drinking fernet, beer or wine and having a good time.
I will continue to enjoy each and one of these asados while I’m still here and if I happen to have gained a few extra pounds you know why.