What to eat in Montevideo
What to eat in Montevideo, a list of typical Uruguayan dishes so that you can try the traditional food of the country.
Although Uruguay was influenced by the gastronomy of countries such as Italy and Spain, it knew how to keep its typical cuisine alive, despite this fusion of different cultures.
The immigrants who arrived in the country left their mark in some aspects, so we can classify this gastronomic fusion that abounds in Uruguay as “Creole”, which is based especially on meat and pasta.
Now, so you don’t miss out on the typical delicacies, here is a list with the best options about what to eat in Montevideo:
Since the time of the gauchos, this tradition has been kept alive, benefiting from the exceptional quality of meat that Uruguay has.
The most common is to request a brazier to be able to share among several and to be able to taste the different types of meat. You will hear it named as “parrillada”. It includes the best parts of the cow (with and without bone), some achuras such as sausages, blood sausages and sweetbreads, as well as chicken. In some places it can include lamb. All this is usually accompanied with some lead potatoes, provolone cheese and a variety of salads.
At family gatherings or holidays, it is a tradition to eat barbecue, especially on weekends.
It is essential that you ask to try the typical Uruguayan Chimichurri, which is a sauce with great taste to accompany that delicious barbecue. It consists of garlic, vinegar or lemon, oil, ground chili, parsley and salt, but you can find variants with onion and red chili pepper or tomato.
We could say that the barbecue is part of a national ritual and celebration motive: lighting the fire and surrounding that moment as an essential part of Uruguayan culture.
Generally, you will find it in all the local restaurants where you go. In most cases, it is accompanied with French fries.
There are three traditional ways of eating chivito: In Sandwich with ham, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, boiled egg and mayonnaise, known as the most common or original way. On the other hand, if we add bacon and fried egg to all that, you will recognize it as “Canadian”. And finally, the most gourmet way is the Chivito al Plato, where the bread is taken out, but it has the same ingredients as the Chivito Canadiense.
Without a doubt, it is almost an obligation to try this dish, since it is a 100% traditional Uruguayan specialty.
Another traditional Creole and well gaucho dish is this pot food, which emerged as an option to combat the cold. Traditionally, it was cooked in families of lesser possibility, who lived in the countryside, until it was positioned in the most important restaurants.
Basically, it is beef or chicken meat, accompanied by potato, pumpkin, onion, carrot, corn, bacon and chorizo, cooked all in the saucepan.
You will find this dish posted on the door of restaurants in winter, but you should know that it is not a dish to digest quickly, since it has many calories, precisely to be able to deal with the cold of winter.
In this case, we are going to put meat aside to enter the world of pasta, but, more precisely, into the world of this original Uruguayan sauce.
Although its name denotes a certain Italian origin, this sauce has onion, ham, mushrooms, meat extract and double cream. Created back in 1900, by the hand of the famous tenor Enrico Caruso, an Italian based in the country.
This sauce is the traditional accompaniment to the typical pastas that are consumed in Uruguay, such as sorrentinos or capelettis.
As the locals would say, it is a sauce to wipe your fingers!
What we bring you now is an accompaniment to the famous mates that are consumed in Uruguay. It is a flour dough, fried in beef fat, circular in shape and with a small hole in its center.
You can find them salty or sweet (with sugar on top), and they are usually sold in the street stalls that are on the streets of Montevideo.
Unleashing on sweet dishes, we come to a traditional Paysandú dessert, which was created in 1927.
Its original recipe is kept completely secret, in the hands of the descendants of its creator.
It is called like this, because of the name of the typical bird of the region, which has many feathers, a light body, as well as the texture of this typical Uruguayan dessert: imposing, but very light.
As it is not too heavy or cloying, you will see that the locals eat large amounts of Chajá.
It is a sponge cake with peaches, meringue and buttercream. You can also find the variants with chocolate or dulce de leche.
Dulce de Leche
And as we named it as a variant of the previous dessert, we will tell you about this regional product, extremely popular in the country. It is a traditional product from the Río de la Plata, so there is a certain dispute with Argentina, just like mate.
You can find it in various desserts such as pancakes (crepes), homemade flan, ice cream, cakes, alfajores or cupcakes.
The recipe is basically milk, sugar, vanilla essence, all simmered for a long time.
Now, it is time to go and taste the delicacies that this beautiful city of Montevideo has to offer you!