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What Is a Chivito?

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  • Written By: B. Koch
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2016
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A chivito is a type of sandwich that is very popular in Uruguay. The word “chivito” means little goat in Spanish, yet this sandwich does not include any goat meat. Typically, the sandwich is made with beef and ham, eggs, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and other toppings on bread. There are many variations on this type of sandwich, including chivito Canadiense, as well as chivito al plato.

The history of the chivito sandwich involves a foreign woman who entered a restaurant in Uruguay and requested a meal with goat meat. As the chef did not have any goat meat, he instead created a sandwich with a thin slice of beef, and added to it all the ingredients that he could find in his kitchen. This sandwich has been a favorite in Uruguay ever since.

This type of dish is common to Uruguay and is so popular that some have described it as the unofficial sandwich of Uruguay. The ingredients in a chivito sandwich may vary, but typically they consist of a thin slice of beef, usually beef tenderloin, a slice of ham, lettuce, tomato and mozzarella cheese. A fried egg is often added to these ingredients as a final touch. This combination is then put between two slices of bread, usually something like a hamburger roll, but this can vary. The bread is sometimes served toasted and always comes spread with mayonnaise.

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A number of variations on this type of sandwich are available, some more common than others. The chivito Canadiense, or Canadian chivito, includes bacon instead of ham as well as hard boiled eggs, along with mushrooms, onions, and red peppers. Why this version of the sandwich is called “Canadian” is unknown.

A chivito al plato, or chivito on a dish, is also not uncommon. This version of the sandwich may be the traditional type, the Canadian version, or any other variation, but it is served without bread, with all the ingredients on a plate instead. It may be served with French fries or a potato dish.

It is not uncommon for even further variations to be available. Beef may be replaced with chicken, and some restaurants serve a vegetarian version. Any number of toppings may be placed on the sandwich, from olives to pickles or pineapples. The sandwich is often served with mustard, ketchup, and butter.

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