Argentine food has been influenced by Indigenous and Mediterranean, such as Italian and Spanish immigrants and the availability of local livestock and agricultural products.
Beef is the primary Argentine dish. Their version of the barbecue is called "asado" (beef grilled on an open fire pit) Also popular are spicy sausages "chorizo", kidneys (riñones), sweetbreads "molleja" and small intestines "chinchulines". Bread and salad are the common side dishes. During week days, Italian food and its traditional pasta and pizza are also quite common. A favorite traditional dish is "empanadas" – salty pastries which can be filled with meat, chicken, ham and cheese, etc
Argentina is also home to some excellent desserts. Ice cream is particularly good, especially from shops that make their own.
As regards drinks the country is famous for its wines. However, "mate" is the most traditional drink which is made from the leave of a local plant called yerba. Another typical drink is "clericó", a bit like a fruit salad in a jar, immersed in plenty of wine and soda.
Most people eat four meals each day though the diet may differ in different regions. Breakfast is a light meal of rolls and jam with coffee. At breakfast or just before the evening meal it is common to eat "facturas", a general name used to describe croissants and a variety of other pastry and baked goods, some of them filled with dulce de leche or fruit jam. At lunch many people eat meat and vegetables or salads. After work but before dinner many people go to cafés to drink espresso and eat picadas, small dishes of cheese, mussels, salami, anchovies, olives and peanuts. Dinner in the evening is the largest meal of the day and almost always includes beef. Sunday family dinner is considered the most significant meal of the week, whose highlights often include asado or pasta.