Popular Argentinian Food: 7 Foods to Rock your Merienda

Have you ever heard of popular Argentinian food? If you are thinking of asado, empanadas, milanesas, you are right! However, what do Argentinians eat for merienda? In case you are not familiar with this word, merienda is an afternoon snack around 5pm. Even though we love eating meat, we wouldn’t eat that at 5pm. So what do Argentinians eat in the afternoon? Here are 7 popular foods from Argentina to rock your merienda.

Tostadas (toast): a Classic Merienda

A classic merienda argentina has two pieces of toast, the type of bread varies. Usually we spread cream cheese (queso crema) and jam (mermelada) or dulce de leche on top of the toast. Some people might prefer butter (manteca) instead of cream cheese. 

Tostado: For Those Who Prefer it Savory

Tostado sounds similar to tostada, but they are not the same. Don’t confuse these two terms! Tostada is a piece of toast. Tostado is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. It is perfect for sharing because it comes sliced in four pieces. 

Medialunas: Pastries You Need to Try

Would you prefer a sweet pastry? Medialunas are similar to a croissant but smaller, sweeter and more buttery. Argentinians love eating medialunas with their mate or any “factura” (pastry) such as vigilantes, torta negra and churros.

Dulce de Leche: Popular Food from Argentina Go with DDL

What is Argentinian food without dulce de leche? *Google’s translation for this is “caramel sauce” but the correct translation is “sweet straight from Heaven”…just kidding. It is a delicious ingredient that comes inside most of our desserts and pastries like chocotorta, postre Balcarce, torta Rogel, churros, bolas de fraile, alfajores, conitos and more. You can also buy dulce de leche by itself and spread it on top of a toast or add it as an ingredient when you are baking at home. 

Click here to learn more about Argentinian dulce de leche pastries.

Bizcochitos de Grasa: The Most Popular Argentinian Food

This is possibly the most popular Argentinian food that most tourists have never heard of. You can buy bizcochitos de grasa at any bakery for a very cheap price. Los bizcochitos de grasa are savoury biscuits that Argentinians eat with mate. 

Mermelada: Artesanal Jam

Argentina produces lots of mermelada (jam) especially with fruits from Patagonia. My favorite jam from Argentina is mermelada de calafate, made with the calafate fruit that grows in Patagonia. Other local jams you must try are rosa mosqueta and frutos rojos. We spread the jam on a piece of toast or use it to make a delicious cheesecake. 

Mate, Té o Café: A Nice Hot Beverage

Lastly, to rock your merienda argentina you will need a hot beverage. Argentinians prefer mate, but you can also drink tea and coffee. When you go to a café you will find a “desayuno/merienda” that already includes coffee, tea and a small orange juice with food. If you want to try mate, you will need to drink with a local or make your own! As strange as it sounds, mate is not offered at cafés. We only drink mate at home or when a friend brings some. Don’t be surprised if you see someone walking the streets with a mate and a termo (thermus) under their arms. Mate enthusiasts love taking their mate anywhere they go! 

Would you like to learn more about cafeterías argentinas? Check out this blog post.

Popular Argentinian Food Conclusion

To rock your merienda you need at least one of these 7 popular Argentinian foods: tostada (toast), tostado (toasted sandwich), dulce de leche, mermelada (jam), bizcochitos de grasa (savoury biscuits), medialunas or facturas (pastries), and a hot beverage like té (tea), mate or café (coffee). 

Do you eat merienda? What do you eat to rock your merienda? Leave a comment below. 

PS. *I want to know what you think about Google’s translation of “dulce de leche” as “caramel sauce”. Do you like this translation? Can you come up with a better one? Should we just call it “dulce de leche” all around the world? Leave a comment.

And, if you’d like to share your opinion on other translations, my friends from Day Translations are celebrating the work of professional translators around the world. You can join the event and vote for your favorite translations! Click here to learn more.

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I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Melany and I help language learners speak Argentine Spanish. I primarily teach Argentine slang and idioms, how to sound more natural and to speak Spanish with confidence.

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