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Churrascarias and Asaderos

In Brazil, in Argentina and in Urguay charcoal grilled meat is a favorite plate. Young bulls are slaughtered and thick steaks are grilled and served with dips. Argentinian beef has become world famous and is imported in many countries. This food was for the working class, for people living and working in the Pampas. Customers sit in a restaurant and large chunks of meat are served by waiters or the Churrasquero himself who would go round the tables serving the steaks. Who could resist the mouth watering and tempting smell of grilled meat?

In Zurich there are Churrascarias, in Antwerp are Argentinian Grill Restaurants. In Spain they are called Asaderos and are very popular places to eat beef or pork steaks, spare ribs and Chuletones ( cutlets). In many towns, there are restaurants in the slaughter- houses (mataderos) where they serve fresh grilled bull meat and specially in the Bull Fighting Season, demand for meat from bulls killed in the corrida, are much in demand. The meat is slightly darker but very tender and considered to give you strength. In Morrocco in many restaurants whole skinned, stuffed goats are grilled in deep earthen ovens. It takes about four hours to grill the meat, which is then cut into pieces and served with rice and nan bread.

When I was young and living in Spain, for many years I went to Pamplona in the province of Navarra (north Spain) to participate in the Corridas celebrated every year. Outside the city and up in the hills there used to be a restaurant serving fresh meat of the bulls killed in the corridas. The place had a thatched roof and the interior and the ceiling of the house was full of vines. A big log fire was burning and over it were hung large slabs of meat. We barely sat down on low round tables than small tumblers (jaras) of wine were placed, together with fresh warm bread and olives. Small cups of onion soup were served and it broke the ice and you felt welcomed. Then you ordered the size and the side of meat you wanted and it was cut from the slabs and thrown on the sizzling fire. I have never forgotten the food we used to eat there. Some times I went there in winter and the first thing I would do was to meet my friends, have a Tinto or a Pintado ( red wine or red & white mixed) in a bar in the city, have a few tapas and then go to this restaurant. In the evenings it was nice to sit in its warm and cozy atmosphere, a roaring fire in front, drinking Vino de Navarra and eating fresh bread with olives and savor the smell of grilling meat and getting hungry until the food was placed on the table.

Pamplona is famous for its cheese & ham and fish croquates and ice cream and if you ever head towards Navarra, do visit Pamplona. It is a treat of a place.

Posted by The Islander 07:40 Archived in Spain Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

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