Anthony Bourdain and Uruguay – We are Top Beef Eaters – I Confirm it!

Last week I was watching on TV a compilation of episodes of Anthony Bourdain – No Reservations and I was pretty impressed.
In his culinary adventures, he mentioned one the most beef-eaters-country… and it was my country Uruguay. I can confirm that my country Uruguay together with Argentine, United States and Australia are the countries with the top beef meat consumption per capita of the world.
I don’t know if this is a merit, but these are real facts about worldwide culinary customs!

Parrillada: Uruguayan beef barbecue at Mercado del Puerto, Montevideo. Asado with achuras (offal) and sausages

When Anthony visited Uruguay, he enjoyed our local top grass-fed beef utterly tender that kiss the palate. He couldn’t believe the Uruguayan savory beef-tower called Chivito. He relished a chivito in a famous “chiviteria” not far from where I’m.
It’s a pity I couldn’t see the complete episode about my country but it seemed that he enjoyed the visit.

Why in my country are people big beef eaters? The reason came with our history, the first animals that were introduced in the actual Uruguayan territory, by the Spanish people, were the cows. Since that moment, the beef became a vital and juicy part of the diet in my country.

The Uruguayan’s palate has its origin in Europe, but nowadays there’s a fusion cuisine together also with American, Latin American, Indian, Japanese and Chinese cuisine. You can find gourmet restaurants with every imaginable dish you want but, if you want the real tradition here, you’d go to the parrilladas.
The traditional Uruguayan cuisine has one of the largest spectrums of the world in beef dishes – the most picturesque for the tummy and eyes are the parrilladas!

Parrillada: Argentinean Asado consisting of: Beef, Pork, Ribs, Pork Ribs, Chitterlings, Sweetbread, Sausage, Blood Sausage, Chicken.

We’ve in our country approximately 4 cows per habitant; with a population of 3.5 millions of people we’ve 14 millions of cows… a lot of them! Beef and milk are the principal products, by the way of excellent quality, so this is the reason why we’ve all type of milks, cheeses, butter, yogurts and.. dulce de leche resulting in delicious alfajores too. Of course the contribution to international culinary world is vaster than beef but this a typical one.

The back side of this high beef consumption is the trend to avoid fresh vegetables and to minimize the fish consumption, some of them with high percentage of omega 3, beneficial for health. If we add that more than 60% of the population is sedentary (and they aren’t doing anything to change it) give an outcome of high percentage of heart diseases in my country. The uric acid is overall extremely high, giving gout frequently among the people.

I know that a lot people, have no idea about Uruguay. They said Uru..what? A soccer team? Not precisely, but we’re all well known worldwide about the soccer (but not with good luck lately)
Paraguay? (no, either, this is a neighbor country not so far from here, but this isn’t Uruguay)
Just in case, Uruguay is a state in the cone of South America between Argentina and Brazil 😉

Every country has its own culinary delights; Uruguay can be recognized by the beef and the mate, just to name only a very few.
Many times the world recognizes a country for some specific dishes or ingredients, which do you think that represent yours? Share your good taste!

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Photo credits by felixion and by G Velasco


Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.

Fresh Local and Best


This is a very interesting and informative article. I've never visited or had the experience of tasting cuisine from Uruguay, but I am very curious. I've enjoyed beef from ranches that employ similar techniques of Argentinian cattle raising. One of the local wagyu beef merchants, Japanese Premium Beef, specified some of the methods, and I have to say the meat is incredible! Well-marbled, tender and juicy!


A great informative post! I must admit that I didn't know where Uruguay is until I 'met' you several months ago. I heard the name before, but never had an idea about it. I googled and learnt where it is after seeing the name of your country in your blog. And I love learning more about it from you. Just like your people, Turkish people are big fans of meat especially lamb. In our history we see that Turkish people used to eat lamb ang goat meat, but today they eat beef too. If they want to grill, they absolutely vote for lamb.


Great post Gera! I didn't know exactly where Uruguay was until I read this post! Very interesting information! Thanks!


I love anthony bourdain, I actually remember that episode and wanting to bury my face in the piles and piles of meat. This was a great article, very informative! Thanks for sharing, I enjoy learning about new cultures 🙂


excellent entry, I've heard many great things about Uruguay cuisine, I love the yummy photos

The Cookinglady And Friends

I love Anthony Bourdain and I remember this episode cause I don't miss a show. Your article just cleared up more things for me. Very informative. Thanks for sharing.


This was a really interesting read Gera! 😀 I love how you make education fun and interesting!


LOVED this post! I'm not much of a beef-eater, but gimme a hamburger and I'll happily chow it down!

I'm Korean, so of course we're famous for our BBQ beef, the bulgogi…I don't really like it, though. But I LOVE kimchi, and our spicy rice cakes!


I need to go back and watch that episode, I love meet and Uruguay will be on my list to visit.


Gera, He was herre too, but I think is so special because he enjoded to find bizarres thing in the countries.
I know the Uruguay Cuisine and is so tasty and nice, as Argentina and Chile.
I think she really enjoy Uruguay parrilladas look fantastic, O¿I love parriladas too.
Your articles are always so nice and informative. huggs!! gloria

5 Star Foodie

The awesome grass-fed beef that I get at my store is from Uruguay! It's the best ever!


Thanks for the informative post. I think Brazilian and South African are also meat lover. Most food are on grill. There are few Brazilian restaurants here which I visit quite often and really enjoyed the food, always juicy and tender. How I wish I can try Uruguay food one day.


@Fresh Local and Best
The beef from Uruguay is pretty different to wagyu beef or Japanese premium beef, because it is lean beef – as the cows are fed with natural pastures they do lot of exercises 😉

I know it! This is the reason why I've explained a little about my country. I adore grilled lamb so scrumptious 🙂

Glad you enjoy it! I like Anthony too and his culinary adventures 🙂

That was the idea Shelby thanks! 🙂

Thank you Jessie! The parrilladas are very tempting 😀

@The Cooking Lady
Wow only I've the small part of this episode. I'd like to see it full. Thanks! 🙂

@Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Funny and with a lot of tender beef is a good combo Lorraine 🙂

Yes Sophia, Koreans have glamorous bbqed beef and kimchi is magnificent 🙂

Tell me if you can watch the full episode about Uruguay 🙂

Yes he visited all South America and of course Argentina and Chile are full of delicacies 🙂

@5 Star Foodie
Totally with you I think that our beef is one of the best 🙂

Both Brazil and South Africa have outstanding gourmet cuisines. Nearer to me, the Brazilian cuisine has churrascos and churrascarias similar to parrilladas that are splendid also 🙂


Hi Gera! I did know where Uruguay was – I love maps and world geography! But I did not know that you were such big beef eaters. I guess I missed that show from Anthony Bourdain. I would love to see it on a re-run.

Carolyn Jung

I remember that episode very well. Especially because my husband was drooling over that meat tower. 😉


I just remembered in reading this post, that I found your blog when searching for how to prepare milanesa earlier this year. I had forgotten you were in Uruguay, to be honest.

1:4 person to cow ratio? Better hope they don't throw a revolt:) Quick, eat more beef to even out the odds!

What food represents the US? I'd say BBQ.


Hi Gera! I think the food that mostly represents my country, Italy, is "Pasta". I love pasta and eat it every day. I enjoy beef a lot, and I eat it once a week. Very interesting post indeed!



I didn't know Uruguay and Argentina were so similar in their cuisines!!!My sister lived in argentina for a year and I heard everything about mate and the wonderful beef.I guess I have to visit Uruguay soon. Me encantaria conocer tu pais, Gera! Yo pienso que todo Sur America es hermoso.


What a fun read – you have me convinced, I need to jump on a plane to check out your local foods. I can only imagine how good the beef would be in Uruguay. That picture of all the meats and sausages on the grill, just about did me in!

Legal Nomads

Great post! I lived in Uruguay for almost a year and can confirm it too. Mmm..I do miss those parrilladas.

Rosa's Yummy Yums

I can imagine how good the beef must be… What yummy food!

A great informative article.



Follow Food Chain

That barbecue looks like heaven – just added Uruguay to my list of places to visit.

My Little Space

Those pictures are incredible! Too bad my family isn't red meat eater. However, thanks for your info. Cheers.


interesting, I thought it'd be Argentina. That beef is making me hungry.


Wonderfull post. Thanks for all that info about Uruguay. I've just discovered grass-fed organic beef — horribly expensive but so much easier on your body. Unfortunately, I love beef even though it is so bad for you.

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