World Aperitif Day: The history of Amargo Obrero, the drink that represents Rosario’s cultural heritage

This Tuesday, like every September 19, World snack dayWhich makes it a perfect excuse to enjoy one of the many drinks that are usually drunk before the main course of the meal.

The anniversary date was originally popularized by a potato chip brand in Spain, establishing the habit of eating it with olives, anchovies and peppers, all light morsels that work to whet the appetite.

Appetizers in general Made from wine or alcohol, it is infused with herbs, roots, spices, and citrus peelsIt gives them that bitter touch that cleanses the mouth, clears the taste buds, and awakens the appetite.

Among the list of snacks that can be found in the country, there is one that stands out It appeared at the end of the nineteenth century in Rosario: Amargo Obrero. It is a drink made from a mixture of herbs such as carqueja, muña and manzanilla, with a little orozo (a type of sweet) and 19% alcohol.

Origins of the bitter factor

The history of this drink begins when two Italian immigrants, Pedro Calatrone and Hercules Taccone, met in the city, which in 1887 welcomed arrivals from other countries with the aim of developing the region’s factories and ports in a time of growth.

Both of them, one a businessman and the other an accountant, decided to get together to prepare a file A drink aimed specifically at workers who settled in Rosario In those days, they would gather to drink before going home after the work day. These aperitifs, bitter and strong, were a contrast to the sweet drinks that the bourgeoisie had appropriated.

Amargo Obrero was created as a typical drink in workers’ bars.

despite of It was traditionally mixed with sodaNowadays you can also enjoy it with cola or grapefruit soda.

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The designation bitter is in black letters and the agent is in red letters He was associated with the anarchist movements of the time. The illustrations that accompanied the name reinforced this association: sickle, ears of wheat, raised fist, man working in the field, rising sun.

Original poster for The Bitter Agent.

With the wine crisis of 1950, the manufacturers of Amargo Obrero took the opportunity to launch An important advertising campaign. On the radio, the advertisement for “the colorful drink for the strong man” was repeated, and the slogan dates back to that time: “an aperitif for the Argentine people.”

They put up posters advertising the drink in La Boca, Retiro and all the workers’ gathering places where their drink arrived. They also made key chains, calendars and ashtrays from red and black tin.

In 2017, Amargo Obrero was declared part of Rosario’s cultural heritage, due to its “folk origin and historical connection with social customs at the national level.”

Freddie Dawson

"Beer specialist. Award-winning tv enthusiast. Bacon ninja. Hipster-friendly web advocate. Total social media junkie. Gamer. Amateur writer. Creator."

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