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The history of Argentine cuisine is rich and diverse. As a land that has experienced extensive immigration through many years, the country has benefited from numerous food influences. The diverse climate in the region, ranging from subtropical to subpolar, has also helped considerably broaden the set of ingredients readily available. European settlers are largely responsible for Argentina's cuisine, mostly the Italians and Spaniards. However, other immigrants such as Germans, the French, Jews and the British, among others, brought their styles of cooking and national recipes with them. Nevertheless, indigenous gastronomies derived from groups such as the Quechua, Mapuche, and Guarani have also played a role; for example, mate is consumed throughout all the country.
Native Indians lived in Argentina long before the European explorers arrived. The northwestern Indians were farmers who grew squash, melons, and sweet potatoes. The Guaraní, who lived in the northeast, were hunter gatherers. Spanish settlers came to Argentina in 1536 and introduced cattle to the pampas, which would have a profound effect on the cuisine of Argentina.
Throughout the 19th century, millions of immigrants arrived to Argentina. Most were from Italy and Spain. The Italians introduced pizza, as well as all kinds of pasta dishes, including spaghetti and lasagna. The British started the tradition of teatime. The French, German, Welsh, Swiss, Jewish, Central and Eastern Europeans[who?] have also influenced the country's cuisine.