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The Great Classic of Uruguayan Cuisine: chivito

Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers

This dish is the pride of the Uruguayan people, not only in the country but all round the world. We give you: the Uruguayan chivito.

The Uruguayan chivito

Mate, tango, candombe, murga, the Old Port of Montevideo, Benedetti and his coffee dregs undoubtedly are Uruguayan symbols that have been spread all round the world and can be enjoyed today at each street in the country.

But as far as cuisine is concerned, the Uruguayan pride, not only in the country but also abroad, is the Uruguayan chivito, beyond any doubt.

The Uruguayan chivito

The recipe is quite simple: veal tenderloin, lettuce, tomato, ham, cheese, bacon and egg, everything together either in a sandwich or on a plate, according to the customer’s preference.

For decades, whether in the most prestigious restaurants in the City of Montevideo or in the street market stalls, or else at any coffee-shop or pub in a small town, all throughout the country, it is possible to taste this traditional dish that awakens unconditional fanaticism.

The Uruguayan chivito

Many claim to have invented this dish. There have even been local and regional contests to see “who could prepare the most Uruguayan chivito” in which hundreds of people have taken part.

An icon in the typical postcards of Uruguay, along with other delicacies, the chivito hides an entire lifestyle.

There are small metallic carts of various sizes that function as street restaurants and let workers or anyone who needs to have a break from routine enjoy this dish as they chat about the lottery, soccer or everyday life.

The Uruguayan chivito

Uruguay has that rhythm and its citizens indulge themselves with their favorite dish. The chivito is part of the Uruguayan culture. Whoever tastes it will unquestionably become a fan.

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My personal recommendation to taste the best Uruguayan chivitos is on Route 1, which joins Colonia del Sacramento with the City of Montevideo. The venue lies on the left, right after the road leading to the District of Nueva Helvecia begins. Order it along with an icy Pilsen and enjoy it slowly. You will be sitting in front of one of Uruguay’s greatest prides.

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