Picada: A Little Something To Nibble On Beforehand

Since preparing an asado takes quite a bit of time, sometimes you need a little bit of finger foods to keep the hunger at bay; especially if your guests arrive early. A small picada is the answer to the growling that is emitted from everyone’s stomachs.

A picada in Argentina is basically a selection of finger foods, or hors d’oeuvre, that people nibble on at say a party, a pub, and can even end up being a dinner. Have you ever enjoyed some cubes of salami and cheese with a bottle of good red wine? Well, that’s a picada. They can be as simple as cold cuts and cheese to twenty different items.

Here are some common items that are often served as a picada:

Salami; preferably hard
Ham; cooked or cured
Cheese; Parmesan, Roquefort, Fynbo, Gouda, Pategras, Sardo, Emmental, Reggianito, Brie, Camembert, Danbo, etc.
Olives; with pits are the best
Peanuts
Potato Chips
Crusty Bread
Pickled Vegetables

The meats and cheeses can either be cubed or sliced. Place them in small bowls or on a wooden surface such as a cutting board or platter. Serve with ice cold beer or good wine. Remember, and this is very important, not to serve too much or else that hunger you are trying to delay could be gone for good when the time arrives to eat the asado.

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