Are you curious about chimichurri, but don’t know what it tastes like? You’re in luck.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Argentinian condiment, from its varying flavors to different recipes.
Discover the many delicious ways chimichurri can be enjoyed and find out why it’s become so popular worldwide.
What is Chimichurri?
Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce consisting of finely-chopped parsley mixed with garlic, oregano, onion, red pepper flakes, and olive oil.
It’s a popular condiment in Argentina and Uruguay where it’s often served alongside grilled steak or with fried yuca or potatoes.
Chimichurri can also be used to marinade proteins or to dress up soups and salads.
The flavor of chimichurri depends on the ingredients used, but it typically has a sharp taste from the garlic and onion, mild sweetness from the parsley, earthiness from the oregano, and heat from the red pepper flakes.
The olive oil gives it a balance of richness without overpowering flavors.
Chimichurri owes its bright green color to the parsley; though it is typically best when made with fresh herbs it can also be made with dry herbs too.
If you’re looking for something to bring life to your dishes then chimichurri might just be what you’re looking for.
It’s an easy way to add flavor without being too overwhelming so you can experiment until you find the perfect combination for your palate.
What Does Chimichurri Taste Like?
Chimichurri is a classic Argentinian condiment made from chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and vinegar.
It has a bright flavor that accentuates the flavor of grilled meats or other dishes.
The range of herbs and spices used in chimichurri can vary significantly from region to region and family to family; often differing wildly from the largely accepted versions served in Argentinian restaurants around the globe.
In its traditional form, chimichurri has an intense herbal taste with notes of oregano, garlic and parsley leading the way on the palate accompanied by subtle complexity from white or red wine vinegar which helps to balance out some of the sharper herbs by adding a slight tartness.
Other ingredients like cumin, red pepper flakes, coriander, lemon juice or bay leaves can also be used to add further layers of flavor depending on who is making it.
All together they create a very flavorful yet mild condiment which is perfect for drizzling over grilled steak or chicken dishes.
It’s also great as a dip with crudités or as an accompaniment for fried fish tacos or burritos.
Ingredients in Chimichurri that Affect Its Taste
Chimichurri is a classic South American sauce made to accompany grilled meats, though it can be used in a variety of ways.
It is made with fresh herbs, spices and other ingredients that can vary by culture or preference.
Generally, the most predominant ingredients include parsley, garlic, oregano and olive oil.
When it comes to chimichurri’s taste and texture, the combination of these ingredients affects it significantly.
The acidity of the olive oil serves as a nice balance to the pungent aromatics of garlic and onion while adding flavor and body.
The herbs – primarily parsely – provide herbal notes which give punctual flavor to all things acidic from refreshing lime juice to vinegars; plus their dry-bitterness adds complexity due to tannins present when some green herbs are fresh yet undried.
Finally, oregano contributes an earthier buk llike background noticible when larger portiongs are used plus contributes an unique herbal sweetness when larger portions are also employed.
The overall taste profile blurs somewhere between savory/umami with some sweet irony on the backgroung for more rich intense versions intended for heavier meats like steak or richer oily fish like salmon; while certain lighter more subtle undertone variations work better for white fish or delicate vegetables.
These variations which profoundly affect chimichurri’s flavor profile depend highly on its preparation either traditional or modern snd definitely vary amongst different cultures regional gastronomic styles thus making this sauce’s versatility nearly limitless without losing its fabulous essencce as part of Latin american folklore cuisine.
1 – Herbs and Spices
Chimichurri is an herb-based sauce commonly used in South American cuisine, particularly in Argentinean and Uruguayan dishes.
It has a bright, vibrant flavor, due to the herbs and spices that it is made from.
The classic ingredients of traditional chimichurri are Italian flat-leaf parsley, oregano, garlic, red or green chili peppers, olive oil and vinegar.
Other ingredients can also be included to bring out the flavor even more; such as cumin, red pepper flakes or lemon juice.
Chimichurri is traditionally a bold condiment with a slightly nutty and aromatic taste that’s quite unique.
Not surprisingly for such an herb-filled mix of spices, it has a strong taste; pieces of parsley in particular are somewhat sharp and give the sauce some bite.
Garlic brings some roundness to the flavor while chili peppers provide some spicy undertones.
Vinegar gives another layer to its brightness while cumin creates earthiness and smokiness in certain varieties of chimichurri.
Lemon juice adds an extra zingy freshness to the dish.
With all these flavors combined into one condiment it makes for a richly flavorful experience.
2 – Vinegar and Acidic Ingredients
The backbone of many great sauces, especially chimichurri, are acidity and sharpness.
This is typically brought to the table by vinegar or some type of citrus juice.
In the case of chimichurri, red wine vinegar is typically used since it goes so nicely with meat but other types such as distilled white vinegar can also work.
Including additional acidic ingredients such as lemon juice adds flavor dimensions to the sauce and brings out even more brightness.
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges also bring a welcome hint of sweetness that contrasts nicely with the tanginess of the vinegar – this combination creates a delicious interplay in the taste that brings a lively kick to your dish.
Finally, adding an herb or two like oregano or thyme works perfectly in harmony with acidity and balances out any pungency contributed by salt and peppers.
Together, these ingredients create one extremely flavorful sauce that’s hard to get wrong.
3 – Oil and Fat
Oil and fat play an important role in the taste of chimichurri sauce.
Depending on the type of oil used, it can add flavor to the herb mixture.
Olive oil is the traditional choice and lends a distinct flavor that combines well with the other ingredients.
If you’d like a milder taste, you can use a neutral-tasting oil such as canola or vegetable oil.
Adding fat to chimichurri also gives it body and texture.
It helps hold all the ingredients together, allowing them to be spooned over food without dripping off.
Traditionally, fat from bacon or pork fat was added but today many recipes use butter or rendered lard for this purpose.
Some versions even call for neutral fats such as vegetable shortening or margarine in order to improve texture without impacting flavor too much.
4 – Salt and Other Seasonings
Chimichurri comes alive with the addition of the perfect blend of salt and seasonings.
The type of salt used in a recipe will depend on personal taste, but try to use a high-quality, kosher or sea-salt for the best flavor.
The traditional Argentine version calls for minced garlic and finely chopped fresh parsley.
Most recipes also include oregano as well, although some versions use vinegar instead as an additional flavor.
Many chefs also like to add red pepper flakes, cilantro, and pepper to further customize its taste.
Adding some acidity to the mix is another key ingredient in achieving flavorful Chimichurri.
Try using limes or lemons, or add another herb like thyme or basil to your recipe.
Additionally, if you like more spice, you can always kick things up with a healthy dose of red chili peppers.
How to Use Chimichurri to Enhance the Flavor of Your Meals?
Chimichurri is a flavorful Argentinian sauce that is traditionally served with grilled meats.
It has a bright, acidic flavor and can be used in many different dishes to add a burst of flavor.
The basics of how to make chimichurri are quite simple – it is usually composed of garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and olive oil.
But the ingredients can also vary depending on the region where it is made.
The end result is a sauce that has a strong onion and garlic aroma with a slightly spicy kick.
When using chimichurri to enhance the flavor of your meals, the possibilities are truly endless.
From drizzled over roasted vegetables and proteins to stirred into hot pastas, this versatile condiment can bring an intense and lively flavor to otherwise plain-tasting dishes.
Chimichurri also makes for great marinating ingredients for meat or for mixing into mayonnaise for an interesting sandwich spread or salad dressing.
Furthermore, it has even been used as a dipping sauce for appetizers such as eggs or sausage.
Chimichurri adds an interesting twist any dish you add it to, making it an invaluable ingredient in any home cook’s pantry.
Is Chimichurri Healthy?
Chimichurri, a popular Argentinian condiment, is widely known for its robust and deeply flavorful taste.
Made from a blend of fresh herbs and garlic, it adds zest and zing to any dish.
Its bright green color and herby flavor also make it a popular choice for marinades or on sandwiches.
But beyond its unique flavor, is chimichurri actually healthy?
The answer is yes.
The herbs used in the condiment are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that provide numerous health benefits.
Parsley, an integral part of the sauce, is rich in Vitamin K and folic acid which are essential for mental health and wellbeing.
Parsley is also no stranger to having anti-inflammatory properties which makes it beneficial to those with skin disorders or chronic inflammation problems.
The olive oil used in chimichurri helps promote heart health while garlic has anti-viral properties that help fight off colds and other illnesses.
Chimichurri contains no added sugar or unhealthy fats so you don’t need to worry about packing on excess calories either; a 2 tablespoon serving contains just 35 calories.
All things considered, incorporating chimichurri sauces into your diet can be an excellent way of getting nutritious ingredients without sacrificing taste – making it both a delicious addition to your recipes as well as healthy one at that.
Where to Buy Chimichurri and How to Store It?
Chimichurri is a versatile and delicious condiment that can be used on just about anything.
It originated in Argentina, but has become popular all around the world.
If you’re looking for a way to add more flavor to your dishes, chimichurri is definitely worth a try.
To find high-quality chimichurri, you can look for products at your local gourmet food store or online retailers.
If you plan to make your own, there are plenty of recipes available online as well.
Once you have your product of choice, it’s important to store it correctly so it lasts longer and retains its delicious flavor.
When it comes to storing chimichurri, you have two options: keeping it as a sauce or turning it into a paste.
Both methods require proper storage so the ingredients stay fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
If you choose to keep your chimichurri in its original liquid form, be sure to store the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator immediately after purchase or preparation.
This will help prevent spoilage and ensure that all of the ingredients remain safe to consume within 4 days.
You can also turn your sauce into a paste by blending with an immersion blender until smooth.
This paste can then be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without spoiling; however, because of its higher fat content and stronger flavor profile, this option should only serve small batches at one time so it doesn’t go bad if not consumed right away.
No matter how you choose to store chimichurri–whether as a sauce or paste–both methods will keep for about one month if frozen properly before the expiration date listed on the packaging (if applicable).
However, bear in mind that freezing will reduce some of the flavour initially imparted from fresh aromatics such as garlic and oregano due overtime potentially alter its otherwise intense flavour profile over time.
Chimichurri is a versatile sauce with an unmistakable flavor.
It pairs well with grilled meat, seafood, and vegetables, and is a popular condiment in many Latin American countries.
The main ingredients of chimichurri sauce are herbs such as parsley, oregano and garlic, vinegar and olive oil, creating a zesty and flavorful sauce that goes great with so many dishes.
If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen or just want to try something new, give chimichurri a try.
You can easily make chimichurri yourself at home or buy it premade at the store.
Be creative when making your own by adding different herbs or spices to customize it to your preference.
No matter which way you go about it, eating meals paired with chimichurri will provide you with an unforgettable taste experience that you won’t be able to forget anytime soon.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!