In Argentina, meat is a matter of national pride. On average, each Argentinian eats 63kg of meat a year. And they do not only eat it, they celebrate it. Its production, consumption and export is the subject of serious national debates, pitched at the same level as reports on the GDP growth or the continuous disputes between Kirchnerist and Anti-Kirchnerist political factions. The preciseness of the statistics means people treat the meat industry with the same passion other nations would accord to sports.
“Mallmann insists that the macho and testosterone veneer that covers meat culture is a misconception”
Here, renowned chef and TV personality Francis Mallmann explains the importance of honoring the dead animal, by cutting and cooking its meat appropriately. “Killing an animal is killing an animal, even if you cover it with velvet,” he says. Once slaughtered, it should hang for approximately two weeks at 2°C. The butcher may divide it in two, so that it breathes more air. Cutting it is an art of surgical precision: if muscles get harmed, the meat will lose precious juices during the cooking process.
Mallmann insists that the macho and testosterone veneer that covers meat culture is a misconception. He sees cooking meat as a fragile, tender and feminine act. After all, within this apparent brutality, there is indeed room for a poetic vision of marble in the fatty veins of the beast.
Igor Ramírez García Peralta is Art Editor-at-Large at NOWNESS