Cuisine from Uruguay
Uruguayan cuisine bears European influences, and its location in the game-heavy Pampas region also contributes to the fact that beef and lamb are main staples of the national diet.
How meat is prepared in Uruguay
Meat in Uruguay is prepared in an endless multitude of ways, by frying, grilling, barbequing, roasting, or even making it into sausage. Churrasco, a grilled steak, and the parillada, a platter of grilled beef, could almost be considered the national dishes. Many restaurants in Uruguay are parilladas, or grill rooms.
Other national specialties include biftik a la Montevideo, which is a simmered stake named after the national capital; rump steak; cazuela, usually served with tripe; and morcilla dulce, which is a sweet black sausage made from blood, orange peel and walnuts. Chivitos, a steak sandwich topped by eggs, cheese and some sandwich condiments, are also very popular.
Traditional Spanish and Italian dishes also abound, as there are a large amount of immigrants from these countries. Seafood, of both saltwater and freshwater varieties, is eaten regularly, as well. Cheese, eggs and bread round out the typical ingredients.
In Uruguay, lunch is the biggest and most important meal of the day. It is customary for businesses to close down for an hour or two to allow everyone to go out for a solid meal, or even head home for lunch.
Yerba mate, and coffee and tea are ubiquitous beverages. Uruguayan wines are typically of good quality. Medio medio, a common drink consisting of half white wine and half champagne, is worth a try. Local beers are good, and local spirits include caňa, grappa, and whisky and gin distilled locally.
Dulce de leche
Dulce de leche, lemon pie, and chaja, a ball-shaped sponge cake filled with cream and jam, are favorite desserts.