Cuisine of Uruguay

Uruguayan cuisine differs from Latin American cuisine, but it has many points of contact with Argentine cuisine. Its main characteristic is the plurality of cultural influences, due to the European migratory currents that populated the country, mixing with indigenous and regional traditions.


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  • 1 The main dishes
  • 2 milk
  • 3 Recipes from the kitchen of Uruguay
  • 4 The Uruguayan Mate
    • 1 The Uruguayan mate ritual
  • 5 Sources

The main dishes

Uruguayan food is roasted meat cooked using charred firewood and yerba mate infusion. The economy of Uruguay is based on beef cattle, so it is natural that the kitchen uses beef as the main ingredient. Asado and churrasco are two daily preparations in Uruguay, along with other recipes such as empanadas criollas (seasoned minced meat covered by flour dough.


The dairy industry is of great importance in Uruguayan gastronomy. The most consumed dairy products in Uruguay are cheeses, butter, cream, yogurt and the traditional dulce de leche.

Uruguayan cuisine recipes

  • Traditional grillIt is not just roast beef, it is accompanied with “achuras” different parts of the animal and roasted vegetables. They are prepared seasoned and seasoned. Also included are sliced ​​products such as black pudding, sausages and grilled sausages, in addition to the classic provolone cheese.
  • ChivitoAnother of the emblems of Uruguayan gastronomy, which no visitor can stop drinking. It is a sandwich or sandwich of grilled loin meat, accompanied by cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, egg, lettuce, tomato and many other ingredients.
  • PanchosThey are the classic frankfurters or German sausages, which are boiled and served on bread. This bite has recently been incorporated into the cuisine of Uruguay, but with great acceptance. There are many street vendors selling hot dogs, perfect for a quick meal.
  • MilanesaA highly desired dish, introduced by Italian immigrants. It consists of meat steaks covered with breadcrumbs and egg, which are fried and accompanied with different garnishes. They also eat bread .
  • Globally popular pizza, it also has its place in the cuisine of this country, and is one of the most consumed dishes by the entire population. In all the localities of the country it is possible to find a pizzeria.
  • Heirloom pastaof the Italian tradition, pasta in all its forms has a special place in the diet of Uruguayans. It is reserved on Sunday for its main consumption, as a tribute to the traditional family reunion of the ancestors of Italians. On the 29th of each month it is traditional to eat gnocchi and place a coin under the plate, as a good luck ritual.
  • Dulce de lecheGastronomic heritage shared with Argentina and other countries in the region. It is made with milk, sugar and vanilla, and is used for a wide variety of desserts (cakes, alfajores, piononos, flan) or to accompany toast and cookies for breakfast or snack.

The Uruguayan Mate

In Uruguay, mate is considered a national drink. Uruguay is, of the mentioned countries, the maximum consumer of mate. In no other country in the world is so much yerba mate consumed, a product obtained from the tree of the same name. The dried leaves are crushed and often mixed with other herbs to obtain tastes and other results in addition to the typical energy produced by mate.

The Uruguayan mate is drunk hot and bitter, and is made up of a set of pieces: the water is carried in a thermos that maintains its heat, the yerba mate is deposited in a container also called mate that is obtained from the porongo (the Lagenaria plant siceraria); and the water is absorbed by a light bulb.


The Uruguayan mate ritual

In Uruguay drinking mate is a ritual highly esteemed by its inhabitants. This activity has been practiced since before colonization by its native inhabitants. Even the Catholic Church fought to eradicate this custom but in vain, she ended up drinking it.

Unlike in other countries, mate in Uruguay is drunk anytime, anywhere. Characteristics of social unifier have been attributed to him, because in Uruguay he is consumed by members of all social classes; and the “round of dunks” is famous, where friends get together to share a mate and dialogue amicably.

Daniel Vidart, a Uruguayan anthropologist, says about mate: “behind the liturgical gesture of preparing, priming and drinking mate there is a conception of the world and of life … Mate defeats the isolationist tendencies of the creole, it matches the social classes .. .And at all times it was the mate that made the wheel and not the wheel that brought the mate “.


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