Sunday, June 8, 2014

The mystique of chimichurri



The mystique of chimichurri

By Enju Aihara
The Daily Magi
October 6, 2071

Chimichurri (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃimiˈtʃuri]) or chimmichurri is a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina. It is based on finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar. The origin of the name of the sauce is unclear. The word chimichurri or chirriburri is attested in 1783 as a person's nickname, but not connected to a sauce.

There are various stories explaining the name as a corruption of English words, most commonly the name 'Jimmy Curry' or 'Jimmy McCurry'. But there is no contemporary documentation of any of these stories. 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.

Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar. Additional flavorings such as paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon, basil, cilantro 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. Chimichurri is available bottled or dehydrated for preparation by mixing with oil and water. Variants may substitute herbs such as cilantro, culantro, shiso etc. for the parsley.

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