The United States, with its cowboys and cattle and wide-open West, has always been considered a serious beef-eating nation. Then again, carnivorousness is relative -- our American siblings down south in Argentina, with their gauchos and cattle and wide-open pampas, consume twice as much red meat as we do. The cows dotting those plains look just like their American counterparts, but there are lifestyle differences: Our animals graze on grain and are injected with growth hormones; theirs are hormone-free and munch alfalfa, which makes the beef leaner and lower in cholesterol. The cows of Argentina also live longer (it takes more time to grow on grass, and without booster shots) -- they get slaughtered after about 40 months, as opposed to the average of 18 to 24 months in the United States, lending the meat a chewier texture and a more pronounced beef flavor. Cooking techniques likewise differ, Argentines prefer a slow roasting over glowing embers (a process that tenderizes the older meat), as opposed to the quicker flame-broiling (and nowadays, quicker-still über-hot searing)... More >>>