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Anyone for beef? G20 leaders to dine Argentine-style at summit

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By Maximilian Heath

BUENOSAIRES (Reuters) – Steaks, lamb, and “choripan,” a sausage served between bread – world leaders at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this week will be experiencing a traditional Argentine menu, the event’s head catering chef told Reuters on Wednesday.

In between discussing international trade, the global economy and climate change at the two-day summit, the Group of 20 world leaders will have the opportunity to sample the country’s famously meat-heavy diet.

At a time when Argentina is expanding its beef exports to China and is opening up two-way beef trade with the United States, the country hopes that the G20 menu will act as a showcase for its food.

Traditionally coming from cattle grass-fed on the country’s emerald-green pampas, the often gigantic steaks – washed down with a glass of robust malbec red wine – are a point of pride for many Argentines.

“The idea behind the menu was to showcase the high quality of Argentine food, seasonal products, and food that represents us as a country,” said Tommy Perlberger, the chef who owns the company that will provide the food for the summit.

On Friday for lunch, leaders will dine on rib eye steak. For dessert, they will have flan with coconut ice cream and dulce de leche, a sauce made from caramelised condensed milk, Perlberger said.

Friday’s gala dinner at the world-renowned theatre Teatro Colon will feature king crab from Argentina’s southern Patagonia region, and Saturday’s main course for dinner will be braised Patagonian lamb, Perlberger said.

The meals will be accompanied by wines from across Argentina.

But the star of the G20 menu may be the choripan, a chorizo sausage grilled over coals and served between bread, that will be served as an appetizer. Often slathered in garlicky chimichurri sauce, vendors sell the popular street food at soccer matches or in parks.

“We did a full search for the best chorizo in Argentina,” Perlberger said.

“I would love it if the presidents were delighted by our food. Maybe at some point their countries will purchase some of our products,” Perlberger said.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath, Writing by Scott Squires, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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