Each Argentine tradition tells a story about our country’s history and heritage.
With a rich mixture of Latin American and European culture forms our back-story, there is no doubt that reading and experiencing some Argentinian traditions at Sudestada Jakarta will transport you to our country or even induce your visit to our country, and perhaps building affection towards it.
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Asado

The fastest way to make enemies in Argentina is to compare the asado to a barbecue. It’s the same, right? No, the locals will tell you, through gritted teeth, it is not the same. Your gas-fuelled blow-torching of conveyor-belt beef patties has nothing in common with our sacred asado. They’ve got a point. Asado is cooking in its purest form – just fire, grill and meat – so it’s important that you get it right. Otherwise, you’ve got yourself a barbecue.

From a young age, Argentines are taught the importance of asado cooking techniques. The word ‘asado’ refers to barbecue techniques and the social event itself. Argentines will learn to understand how to control the heat, what to use to create the heat, how to treat each cut and type of meat. Since this is a country where meat forms a huge proportion of our diet – these skills are of particular importance. The tradition comes from the Argentine cowboys – or the gauchos – who are held in high esteem. If you go to a Gaucho Party, which is a trip to a real working ranch, you’ll be treated to an Asado or Parilla.

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Chimichurri

There is a saying here that goes a little like: ‘she/he is more Argentine than dulce de leche’. Dulce de leche is a spread made from milk and sugar and you use it on toast or find it in pastries and cakes. You’re more than likely to come across it on your travels and chances are you’ll love it, and if you do perhaps you are more Argentine than dulce de leche!

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Dulce de leche

There is a saying here that goes a little like: ‘she/he is more Argentine than dulce de leche’. Dulce de leche is a spread made from milk and sugar and you use it on toast or find it in pastries and cakes. You’re more than likely to come across it on your travels and chances are you’ll love it, and if you do perhaps you are more Argentine than dulce de leche!

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Malbec, Argentinian Wine

Argentina is known for its fantastic wines. We’re a large producer of Malbec. Although the vine cuttings may originate from France, our product tastes very different. That’s mainly because here the fruit grows in tight clusters and is smaller in size, so they create a spicier berry based flavour. You’ll find the local product in restaurants, wine bars or in supermarkets.

Argentine vineyards produce a very distinct form of Malbec. When you visit, you’ll be able to pick up some wonderful wines for a very decent price.

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Mate

Mate is a strong, bitter drink and you will regularly see Argentines drink it. You may even be offered some, but please don’t refuse it as that is considered rude. However, prepare yourself for its powerful taste. It’s usually drunk from a cup that is made from a gourd, and has a special straw called a bombilla. The drink itself comes from a herb called yerba mate.

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Tango

It is the most obvious place to start in this story of our traditions. The Argentine Tango is probably the most famous of all of our traditions. It originates from the streets of Buenos Aires in the 19thCentury – where African, Caribbean and European heritage fused to create this new dance. It became a dance craze back then, and was considered a moral threat on account of its sensuality. Now, you will be able to see it performed regularly in Buenos Aires – whether that’s on the streets of our capital or in a tango dance hall.

Argentinian beef has earned a reputation for being some of the world’s best. It’s widely known for being incomparably tender and richly flavored, even though it’s rarely seasoned with anything but salt. So what makes Argentine beef taste so good? The answer lies in the lifespan of the beef, from start to finish.

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When the Spanish first brought cattle to Argentina in the 16th century, Las Pampas must have looked like paradise to them. The 289,577 square mile prairie is seemingly endless and mostly flat, with a humid and temperate climate perfect for growing plenty of cow-friendly grass.

The many breeds of cattle introduced to Argentina thrived in the pampas, grazing happily and often, resulting in leaner, more flavorful and nutritious beef. Whereas most American beef is grain fed, the bulk of Argentinian cattle feed on the plentiful grass, resulting in more omega-3 fatty acids. That means Argentinian beef produces less risk of cholesterol or heart disease.

Our gold organic certification, which insures that 90% to 100% of our food and beverages are organic and free of pesticides, is only one of the many initiatives we’ve taken to reduce our carbon footprint. By sourcing nearly 95% of our products locally, minimizing ingredient waste and saving water, we want to go beyond labels and give as much care to how we operate as a restaurant as our farmers and purveyors do with the soil and sea.

Cattle that are raised on grassy plains, eating grass, are much less likely to acquire or spread disease compared to the feed lot cattle of the United States, which are primarily fed grains such as corn. Therefore, they needn’t be pumped full of antibiotics to stave off infections.

Cows aren’t meant to eat corn, and when they do they become more susceptible to health problems. But the point of feeding them grains is to fatten them up as quickly as possible, which is why grain-fed beef is more likely to be pumped full of growth hormones too. Traditionally-raised pampas cattle aren’t unnaturally rushed in this way, resulting in much higher quality meat.

In addition to the way Argentinian beef is raised, the way it’s butchered contributes to its superior flavor. Argentine steaks are cut differently than in the rest of the world, and there’s undeniable logic to it: the cuts are based on the texture of different parts of the cow. An entire cut of tenderloin, called Lomo, for example. Or the rib cap, tapa de asado.

So rather than have a single piece of steak with more than one texture — such as American T-bone or rib-eye — an Argentinian steak will remain consistent all the way through, cooking evenly, and often tender enough to cut with a spoon!

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Argentinian steak Sudestada