Argentina: Page 8 of 8
in Latin America, and its productions seen around the world. Argentines enjoy the highest availability of cable and satellite television in Latin America, similar to percentages in North America.
Argentine comic artists have contributed prominently to national culture, including Héctor Germán Oesterheld, Alberto Breccia, Dante Quinterno, Francisco Solano López, Horacio Altuna, Roberto Fontanarrosa, whose grotesque characters captured life's absurdities with quick-witted commentary, and Quino, known for the soup-hating Mafalda and her comic strip gang of childhood friends.
Argentina has a number of national symbols, some of which are extensively defined by law.
The National Flag consists of three, equal in width, horizontal stripes, colored light blue, white and light blue, with the Sun of May in the centre of the middle, white stripe. The flag was designed by Manuel Belgrano in 1812; it was adopted as a national symbol 20 July 1816. The Coat of Arms of Argentina, which represents the union of the provinces, came into use in 1813 as a seal for official documents.
The Argentine National Anthem, adopted in 1813, was written by Vicente López y Planes with music by Blas Parera. It has been subsequently shortened to only three paragraphs, after omitting the lyrics' attacks against former occupant Spain.
The Cockade of Argentina was first used during the May Revolution of 1810 and was made official two years later. The Hornero, habitating practically across all the national territory, was unanimously designated as Argentina's national animal in 1927. The ceibo is the country's designated national flower and tree, while the horseback game of pato is its national sport. The Schinopsis balansae was declared "National forest tree" in 1956. The Rhodochrosite is the national stone.
The national dishes are asado and locro, and wine the national liquor.
The Virgin of Lujan is Argentina's patron saint.
Besides many of the pasta, sausage and dessert dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy a wide variety of Indigenous and Criollo creations, which include empanadas (a stuffed pastry), locro (a mixture of corn, beans, meat, bacon, onion, and gourd), humitas and yerba mate, all originally indigenous Amerindian staples, the latter considered Argentina's national beverage. Other popular items include chorizo (a spicy sausage), facturas (Viennese-style pastry) and Dulce de leche, a sort of milk caramel jam. The Argentine barbecue, asado as well as a parrillada, includes various types of meats, among them chorizo, sweetbread, chitterlings, and morcilla (blood sausage). Thin sandwiches, sandwiches de miga, are also popular. Argentines have the highest consumption of red meat in the world.
The Argentine wine industry, long among the largest outside Europe, has benefited from growing investment since 1992; in 2007, 60% of foreign investment worldwide in viticulture was destined to Argentina. The country is the fifth most important wine producer in the world, with the annual per capita consumption of wine among the highest. Malbec grape, a discardable varietal in France (country of origin), has found in the Province of Mendoza an ideal environment to successfully develop and turn itself into the world's best Malbec. Mendoza accounts for 70% of the country's total wine production. "Wine tourism" is important in Mendoza province, with the impressive landscape of the Cordillera de Los Andes and the highest peak in the Americas, Mount Aconcagua, 6,952 m (22,808 ft) high, providing a very desirable destination for international tourism.