Argentinian Christmas Recipes and Food Traditions

Christmas in Argentina tends to creep up on you if you are used to celebrating in colder, more commercial climes. Yes, there’s some gentle background music in the supermarkets. Yes, there are some ads on TV. But it’s far, far less in-your-face than in Europe and North America. And this being a refreshingly laid back culture, the manic build-up certainly doesn’t start in October.

South American Christmas in the Summer

A traditional Latin American Christmas is celebrated on the 24th – known as Noche Buena – not the 25th. The big meal happens after the sun starts to go down, which is another sensible move seeing as 30-degree heat and Christmas gluttony aren’t ideal partners. Just like on New Year’s Eve, fireworks go off left, right and centre around midnight, and the celebrations continue until the early hours of the morning. Seeing as things start later, it’s straight into party mode, meaning there’s a lot less time (ie none) for TV specials and charades.

However, there’s plenty of time for eating.

Argentina Christmas Food

The first rule of Christmas food in Argentina is: forget the roast turkey and learn to embrace Vitel Thoné. It may sound like a new French mineral water, but Vitel Thoné is actually one of Argentina’s most beloved Christmas dishes, originally hailing from Italy, like many Argentines. It’s made of peceto (veal), topped with a sauce of tuna, mayonnaise and anchovies. No, it’s not to everyone’s taste, but neither are Brussels sprouts, so grit your teeth if you have to and dig in. Note that peceto is not especially prevalent during the rest of the year, but come December supermarket supplies are stocked high.

Vitel Thoné, of course, is not a main course in itself. It tends to be accompanied by a cold buffet, featuring various salads, the ubiquitous sandwiches de miga and empanadas. Of course it wouldn’t be a proper Argentinian feast without an asado (barbeque), so expect the parrilla to be fully fired up, despite sweltering humidity hanging in the air.

Ananá Fizz – The Traditional Argentinian Christmas Drink

As for drinks, this being Argentina, the vino does flow (the majority of Argentina’s wine production is consumed domestically). There’s also the traditional ananá fizz, which is made from cider and pineapple juice, and it is sold pre-made at bargain-basement prices. Drinking this in the sun must give the mamá of all hangovers. You start to feel the symptoms just looking at the bottle. Take the edge off the pain by making your own using better quality booze. Just pulp some pineapple and add lemon juice, a toqué of sugar and your choice of sparkling wine.

Something Sweet

Pan dulce, or panettone, is another European import that is a staple among Argentina’s Christmas food. Supermarkets carry an enormous variety of these sweet dome-shaped breads filled with dried fruits.



Cordoba: roads of history, faith and knowledge

A city where past and present coexist in perfect harmony; framed by the beauty of the mountain landscape and crossed by crystalline water courses.

Cordoba City is located at the very heart of the province with the same name which, at the same time, occupies a similar position in respect of the country. Its roads are prepared to receive travelers, regardless the reason of their visit: business, study or vacations. In all cases, there are plenty of opportunities to be amazed by the beauty of the mountain landscape. Located at a bit more than 430 miles from Buenos Aires City, its excellent connectivity converts it in an attractive and strategic option for every kind of visitors.

Cordoba, one of the most important cities in the country, hosts the famous Jesuit Square, declared Mankind Heritage by the UNESCO. This site preserves part of the Jesuits’ legacy, who arrived and settled down in Cordoba in 1599: the Jesuit Church and its Private Chapel, the Maximum School (1610), the University (1622), the School of Our Lady of Monserrat (1687) and the Novitiate (1710). Córdoba is a faith’s site: the number of churches is proof thereof. Their construction reflect the colonial style of the times they were built. Bell towers aare particularly outstanding (the bell towers of the Cathedral and of the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom are the most acknowledged). The Cabildo (old town hall) offers an excellent opportunity to learn about the role that this city had in Argentine policital history. This building is part of the traditional circuit that also comprises San Marti­n Square, Juan de Tejeda Museum of Religious Arts, Marques de Sobremonte Historical Provincial Museum, the Jesuit Square and the Spanish Cultural Center.

Cordoba city outstands not only for its historical cultural heritage but also for its closeness to a mountain landscape that invites to every kind of recreational and sport activities. In an area ranging between 24 and 124 miles, it is possible to practice trekking, climbing, diving, horseback riding, paragliding, fishing, birdwatching, golf and many other activities.


Entering the country with firearms

Entrance formalities

Passport in force,with or without endorsement, depending on the case. Ask in your Embassy or nearest Consulate. Visitors coming from non neighbor countries do not pay taxes for baggage or new products up to U$S 300 and additional U$S 300 if products were bought in free shops authorized in national territory.
At present, no vaccine or medical tests are required to enter Argentina.

About the Argentine Migrations Department

The Argentine Migrations Department is the enforcement authority of the migration policy and regulation of the Republic of Argentina. This Department is in charge of the admission, granting of entry permits or residence for foreigners, as well as of the control of their entry, stay and exit from the country, and it exercises the police power for foreigners, according to Act N° 22,439.

The Argentine Migrations Department authorizes the places for the entry and exit of persons to and from the Argentine territory, through which, natives and foreigners must comply with the corresponding migration control.

Furthermore, the Argentine Migrations Department keeps records of the migration cards containing all the information of any person who enters or exits the country.

It has jurisdiction over migration changes; provisional, interim, temporary and permanent residence; regularization of migrations situations; entry, exit and stay control.

It exercises the police power for foreigners in the country. It requires foreigners to evidence their migration condition. It carries out inspections on own initiative, at the request of third persons, at commercial, industrial, educational facilities, hospitals, assistance institutions and at such other premises that may infringe the migration law. For this, the Argentine Migrations Department is backed by the Auxiliary Migrations Police.

Entry of weapons  Tourists

a) Individuals who wish to go into the country with firearms must fill out the technical form of temporary authorization for entering or exiting firearms of Argentine Republic in triplicate for its control when entering or exiting the country.
– 1st copy: will be kept by the competent authority who will send it to the National Controlled Materials Agency (ANMaC).
– 2nd copy: will be kept by the tourist.
– 3rd copy: will be kept by the individual and will hand it in when leaving the country.

b) Pay a ar$ 1,500.- rate per weapon and for once.

Argentine authorities
-They will check the techinical form for its control when entering or exiting the country.
-Cetrify the entry of the firearms detailed in the technical form.
-Certify the payment in the technical form.

Other controls
It is possible that local police of argentine provinces make other controls over the firearms introduced to the country. That control is completely free of charge.

National Department of Customs

All visitors arriving in customs territory shall, without exception, complete the Customs Declaration, completing all fields under the forms OM-2087.

Regular Provisions
Articles that CANNOT enter the country:

    • Any kind of goods for commercial or industrial use.
    • Firearms, unless authorized by the National Controlled Materials Agency (ANMaC).
    • Explosives, inflammable articles and narcotics.
    • Prohibited articles for non-economic reasons (public health, safety, etc.).
    • Goods others than luggage.


Looking for the Dorado (golden-fish) in Paraná

What gold meant to ancient explorers, this fish means to fishermen. And at Argentina’s Littoral, this legendary river offers it with all its generosity.

El Dorado is the mythical place that turned on the imagination of explores looking for gold. For fishermen, the dorado -the golden color fish- is also the object of their obsessions and desires. At the Argentina Littoral, the Paraná River is the ideal scenario to find it.

Known as the “tiger of the rivers”, this fish of great weigh and strength, shall fight until the end with its strong jaw, requiring great concentration and skill from the fishermen. With specimen of more than 20 kilos, the dorado has become a challenge even for the most experienced fisher.

At the low Paraná¡, the high season for dorado fishing is spring; while at the upper Paraná, it is summer (January and February). This river also offers other species like the surubí­, patí­, pacú, manguruyú, ray-finned fish (sábalo), kingfish, catfish and boga.


Humita Recipe

Argentine Corn “Pudding” (Humita).

This is a quick, healthy dish that everyone can enjoy (a couple of easy substitutions can make this a vegan recipe as well). Serve as a side with a grilled entree, or refrigerate and eat with tortilla chips!

Serves 2-4

  • 4 ears of Sweet Corn, shucked
  • 1/2 Red Onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 splash Milk
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 dash Cayenne
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh Cilantro, chopped
  1. Remove the kernels from the corn and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Onion. Cook on medium heat until fragrant (2-3 min).
  3. Dice up the jalapeño, making sure to remove the stem and seeds (unless you like it spicy, then keep the seeds).
  4. Add butter, jalapeño and corn kernels to the saucepan. Stir.
  5. Add salt/pepper and spices. More/less can be added according to taste.            6.Continue cooking for another 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat if needed.
    7. Remove from heat. Add milk and stir. Add lime juice.
    8. Transfer mixture to a food processor. Pulse 10 times or until everything is incorporated. Do not puree.
    9. Finish with salt/pepper and freshly chopped cilantro. Can be served hot or cold.

(Source:  By Jerry Lunanuova.

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