Argentinian Gaucho Cowboy Culture: Meat, Knives & Yerba Maté

We all know about the cowboys of the American west, but have you ever heard about the Argentinian gauchos?

These rugged and iconic horsemen flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries and were known for their nomadic lifestyle and colorful appearance.

These remarkable men subsisted almost entirely off of quality meat — which at that point in history, was pretty much the only kind that existed.

Let’s dive into this amazing culture!

The typical diet of a gaucho consisted primarily of meat and yerba mate, the caffeinated tea plant native to Argentina.

Yerba mate is not only rich in caffeine, but the brew also provides high amounts of other nutrients.

Their meat would have consisted primarily of pasture-raised beef from the free-roaming cattle they worked with daily.

In addition to meat, the cattle provided milk, tallow for cooking, and hides for clothing and shelter.

These robust and charismatic individuals thrived on this simple yet nourishing diet and had plenty of energy to spare.

The combination of:

Nutrient-rich, protein-packed, pasture-raised beef And yerba mate

​Would remarkably have provided essentially every vitamin and mineral needed for these active men to stay healthy and vital.

Gauchos are well known for carrying large knives tucked into their waistbands.

These knives are called facon and were used for all sorts of tasks from eating food to the bloody fights that gauchos were known for:

We find it inspiring to know that this amazing culture was fueled by quality meat as the focal point of their diet.

This diet would have made them especially hardy and able to go long periods of time without food if necessary.

When cooking meat, they roasted the animal inside its skin and served the meal with the skin still on — a preparation known as Carne con Cuero.

We have gaucho knives in stock.

Also, be sure to check out our selection of pasture-raised meat and eat like a real gaucho!

Beck & Bulow provides grass-fed buffalo, elk, wild boar, beef, lamb and chicken directly from our ranch to your door. Visit