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Buenos Dias from Buenos Aires: Argentinian four-legged fare

Hola, chicos! Today I’m going to talk about ranches, meat and how you can have too much of a good thing. Argentina is famous for its steak, and there’s no doubt why. Beef is exquisite here — flavorful, juicy and cheap. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to eat, especially meat. That was one of the several reasons I decided to study abroad in Argentina. Recently, however, I’ve started doubting my devotion to the food.

My study abroad group and I went to a ranch this past weekend, and we had a good time. It was the perfect way to experience the culture of the gaucho, which is an Argentinian cowboy. We watched traditional gaucho dances and learned how to dance along. Men sang Argentinian folk music and also reggaeton, a music genre in Spanish that combines reggae with hip-hop and rap.

The ranch was beautiful. Trees surrounded the area and cats and dogs roamed around. Guests could ride horses and see the other animals, such as rabbits, pigs, sheep and quail.

As an appetizer, we had an arugula salad with fresh tomatoes and other vegetables. Whenever I have the chance to eat vegetables in Argentina, I act the same way as people who stock up on canned food in case there’s an apocalypse or nuclear holocaust and they’re not sure when they’ll be able to set foot outside again. I eat as much of it as possible and overload my plate.

After I stuffed myself with salad, the staff served us chorizo, blood sausage and intestines. I tried all of it, and I loved the chorizo. I wasn’t a huge fan of the blood sausage and intestines, but I was glad I got to experience it.

For the main course, the waiters brought out tray after tray of different cuts of steak. This was the best part of the meal, no doubt. The meat was heavenly and limitless. They kept bringing out more and more. I put spicy chimichurri sauce on my steak, making it even better. As if we had not had enough meat, they also served trays of chicken and pork, which also were exquisite.

Although it all tasted amazing, I felt a little disgusted when I looked down at my plate and saw a pile of bones, fat and uneaten blood sausage. I felt privileged to have had the opportunity to eat all that meat, and I also felt gluttonous. I had never experienced the saying, “you can have too much of a good thing” until then.

Also, seeing the animals on the farm made it more real, and it was difficult to stare at those animals whose friends might have been in my stomach. I had never been that close to where my meat was raised, and it was an eye-opening experience. It reminded me of the Parks and Recreation episode where Ron brings a live pig named Tom to a picnic to cook for lunch.

Argentina has heavenly steak, no doubt. But calculating how much beef I had eaten while staring at my plate made me think I could cut back. For now, when I return to the United States, I think I will go cold turkey on the red meat. How ironic is it that it took my living in a meat-obsessed country to question my own love of meat?

Jessica Hill is a sophomore studying journalism and global studies. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Are you a steak lover? Contact Jessica at jh240314@ohio.edu or tweet her @jess_hillyeah.

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