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Asado: The Secret Argentinian Polo Tradition

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Pablo Calandroni tries to start his fire about an hour before he cooks. He chooses the best wood he can find, preferably cherry or oak, because it gives off high heat and adds great flavor to the meat.

He learned to cook asado, or barbeque, at age 10 in Argentina when his father taught him how to butcher a lamb and cook it for the family ranch. By 16 years old, Pablo was working with polo horses.

He's now the lead horse trainer at the Greenwich Polo Club, one of the U.S. Polo Association's few high goal clubs in the United States. "High goal" means the best teams play at the 34-year-old club. Calandroni has significant duties to care for the horses, and as he says, "It's all about the horses." It's easy to understand his perspective.

Polo was brought by the British to the Pampas region of Argentina in the late 1800s. The area is known for its gauchos, horses, and barbeque. With their excellent horsemanship, gauchos took to the sport. Perhaps more importantly, they began training horses to play polo. According to Calandroni, the traditional way to prepare a horse for polo was to let gauchos use the horse for... (Read More)