Monday, October 24, 2005


I'm looking at this large outdoor barbeque grill that Gabriel built. It stands at least 10 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and has an opening large enough to comfortably roast a medium sized pig. To just call it a barbeque grill doesn't do it justice. It's got pulleys, removable grills, dual chimneys, a contraption to catch the fat drippings, and various other items of engineering marvel.

"So... you want to have a barbeque tonight?"

I look over at Gabriel, who's sporting a grin and a knowing gleam in his eye, waiting for my answer. He knows full well what my answer is going to be: "Hell yeah, fire it up!"

What I didn't realize is that firing up a grill in the Argentine fashion means slow roasting of the meat over glowing embers, not searing the meat over a firey hot flame like I'm used to. To get those embers, you first have to light your logs on fire, wait for the wood to burn out and turn to charcoal, and then wait for the embers to form. Then after that, the meat is placed over the embers and slow cooked. Not a very fast process.

But the results are extraordinary and worth every minute of the process.

And as Gabriel pointed out, the whole point of grilling in Argentina is not really about the meat, but about the process. Of gathering around the barbeque, stoking the fire, rearranging the coals, arguing about when to turn the meat, and slicing off little bits of meat as it cooks and tasting your progress. It's really about fellowship and bonding with your friends. And as the sun started to set and the night wore on, that is exactly what we did.