What is a Picada?
In Argentina a Picada is the perfect excuse to get together.
It's what we whip up when friends call in to watch a football match, what we nibble on before an Asado, what we eat as a pre-starter in a meal with family or friends.
In my case it's also what I sometimes prepare at night when feeling a bit peckish. We adapted to the UK dinner time quite quickly, but given in Argentina we used to have dinner between 9pm and 10pm sometimes a small Picada does the trick.
What does a Picada have and how can I put one together?
Picadas can be as simple or as fancy as we want them to be - and they can have as little or as much as we wish.
Usually they include charcuterie, cheeses, olives, crackers, bread, picos (breadsticks) Some can also have some pieces of fruit, also dried fruit, nuts, and pickled items such as artichokes, chillies, gherkins.
You can use a wooden board, a tray or a plate. If you're using a selection of cheeses and charcuterie items start with those. Then move on to your pickles or olives; you can put them in small containers if you wish to keep any juices separate from the rest of the items, or you can put them directly on your board/plate.
If you're adding nuts, fruit or dried fruit distribute them across your board. The bready side of things can come in the shape of crackers, breadsticks and sliced bread (French baguette is a classic here but Sourdough or seeded bread is great too!).
There are no rules when it comes to a Picada, the most important thing is that you like it, so choose your favourites and enjoy!