Monday, April 22, 2013

Definition: Chimichurri

This week's culinary definition is chimichurri.

What exactly is it?
It's a sauce used for grilled meat and is originally from Argentina but is also used in Uruguay.

Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar. Additional flavorings such as coriander, paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon, and bay leaf may be included. In its red version, tomato and red bell pepper may also be added. It can also be used as a marinade for grilled meat.

Where did the name come from?
I think these 2 explanations are the most realistic and believable:

The Argentine gourmet Miguel Brascó claims that the word chimichurri originated when the British were captured after the British invasions of the Río de la Plata. The prisoners asked for condiment for their food mixing English, aboriginal and Spanish words. According to this story, che-mi-curry stands for "che mi salsa" (a rough translation is hey give me condiment) or "give me curry". The word then corrupted to chimichurri.

Another theory for the name of the sauce comes from the Basque settlers that arrived in Argentina as early as the 19th century. According to this theory, the name of the sauce comes from the Basque term tximitxurri, loosely translated as "a mixture of several things in no particular order."


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