A day at Argentina’s largest cattle market

(Munchies) It’s a wonderfully balmy autumnal morning in Buenos Aires. The downside is that this only serves to heighten the punishing stench of shit and piss expelled by the temporary inmates penned in at Mercado de Liniers.


I’m visiting Argentina’s largest live cattle auction in the Mataderos (translation: abattoir) neighbourhood with Gastón Riveira. He’s the owner-chef of La Cabrera, widely considered to be Argentina’s best grill after ranking 19 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2015, and he likes to reacquaint himself from time to time with the four-legged link in his restaurant’s food chain.

The day starts well before the crack of dawn when dozens of lorries drop off their wards at Liniers, a village-sized market whose corrals extend as far as the eye can see. We, however, aim for a more reasonable 7 AM start, when the day’s sell-offs begin. Blinding florescent lights from the shops lining the nearby Avenida Directorio road denote that the butchers are already at work. Business, it seems, is booming.

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