Our guidebooks talk about all kinds of scams that can happen in Argentina. Cab drivers give out counterfeit bills, thieves wait at ATM machines, pick pockets throw mustard on your shoe. So far none of these things have come even close to happening.
The only scam so far, has been the old “this matambre steak is cow shoulder,” trick.
The restaurant looks innocent enough, but since they don’t have a menu, the waitress just told us what they were serving that day — matambre. When we asked what part of the cow that was, she said pointed to her shoulder.
Several things could have happened:
- it really was shoulder, but she just called it matambre
- it was flank steak which she thought came from the shoulder of a cow.
- she had a sore shoulder and was massaging it while taking our order.
- she was trying to trick me.
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure cows even have shoulders. Later when I googled matambre I got this.
Matambre is a beef dish from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Of an Italian style, it is a rolled flank steak filled with vegetables, eggs and herbs that is then boiled or oven-roasted. (from Wikipedia).
So obviously, she tricked me into eating flank steak. The confusing thing is, there was no roll, vegetables, eggs or herbs. It was just a slab of meat. And, the other weird thing is it was super light, almost white. After much time on the internet comparing my photo to other photos of matambre, I’m pretty sure it was flank steak. You can’t really mind eating a flank steak twice.
Notice how I had to edit out me saying “this is cow shoulder.”