Chile Food and Drink - The Traveller


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Chile Food and Drink

 Chilean Kitchen

In truth, the Chilean table is more renowned for the quality and freshness of its products - fish and seafood in particular - for its expertise. There are all kinds of influences: Native American, Spanish course, but also English and German. Chilean cuisine reflects the country's history. It is generally slightly raised. Spices, red pepper (chilli) in mind, are always served separately. However, they do not skimp on the salt and sugar. Even if the inevitable chicken-fried and greasy burgers are gaining ground, the comedores or cocinerías markets often offer typical dishes, fresh and very cheap. Last thing, stop boring the Chilean commander in chili con carne ... This is a Tex-Mex dish, not Chile!

- Desayuno: breakfast. The two most common breads are served hallula (unleavened bread) and marraqueta. It is full of brown bread or in supermarkets. The Pan de Pascua is a fruit cake, prepared the Christmas period. Chileans make great egg consumption. But mostly, in the hostals, the breakfast is included in the economy: bread, butter, a little jam, instant coffee and maybe a fruit juice.

- Almuerzo: lunch, the most important meal. In most restaurants, there is often a full menu includes a dish, the best value for money.

- Cena: dinner. In a little more chic restaurants including, dinner costs often double the lunch.

- Sandwiches and snacks: the traditional empanada is a sock stuffed with fried meat, onions and olives.

- Mariscos (seafood): This is one of the highlights of Chilean cuisine! Large selection of products are obtainable often very fresh.

- Fish: To appreciate the full flavor, ask the a la plancha (grilled) rather than fritos (fried). Be wary of sauces, which are not an asset of Chilean cuisine.

- Meat: in the Lake District, the meat produced is second to nothing to the quality of Argentina. From the return of warm weather, any excuse is good to organize an asado, a barbecue.

- Vegetables: tomatoes and avocados (palta Chile) are most prevalent. Fresh coriander flavor dishes often. Vegetarian cuisine is beginning to spread.

- Desserts: The most common is the manjar. This is condensed milk, cooked until a thick caramel and very sweet. Otherwise, many küchen (cakes), one of the most visible legacies of German immigration to Chile. Among the fruits of the season in the north do not miss the tuna, the prickly pear. It makes excellent juice. The astringent copao, local fruit of a cactus, is more ... difficult to assess.

Some typical dishes

- Cazuela: a beef or chicken with potatoes, corn, vegetables, pumpkin. As it is boiled, it is not heavy but it's not really tasty ...

- Lomo a lo pobre:
​​fried steak with onions and topped with a fried egg.

- Pastel de choclo: ground beef or chicken cooked with raisins before and onions, covered with mashed potatoes and corn gratin.

- Ceviche: Served chilled, this dish of raw fish marinated with lime, cilantro and onions, is an appetizer of the most famous Chilean gastronomy. Unlike the Peruvian ceviche, the marinade is not spicy.

- Porotos granados: popular dish made with beans, with pumpkin, corn, garlic and onions.
- Curanto: specialty of the island of Chiloe. Stones are heated and placed on the bottom of a hole dug in the ground. It piles up in layers separated by sheets of nalcas, shellfish, meat and potatoes. The whole is covered and left to simmer.


- Water: that of the llave (tap) is generally safe. In remote villages, preferring bottled water, especially in San Pedro de Atacama where arsenic is flowing ... We find (sin gas and con - and sparkling) everywhere.

- Bebidas: these are sugary soft drinks. The Coca reigns supreme, despite some inventions like the Chilean Bilz and Pap, hyper-sweet, neon and much cheaper than mineral water!

- Fruit juice: delicious fruit juices (Jugos naturales), especially in the north.

- Mote con huesillo: it is a specialty of the central region. These are wheat grains sprouted by soaking in a decoction of dried peaches. It did not look appetizing, but it's delicious.

- Tea: more consumed than coffee but really not great. In contrast, aguitas (infusions) are excellent.

- Coffee: In general, this is instant coffee, except in certain pubs major tourist cities and small towns where you can enjoy real espresso and cappuccino. If you want a latte, ask a cortado and not a cafe con leche (coffee drowned in a large cup of milk).

- Leche con platano: milkshake most common, with milk and banana. Tasty and great for stalling the stomach.

- Mate: although much more common in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, are found in southern Chile. This is an infusion that is drunk traditionally in a gourd with a bombilla (metal straw). Tonic (contains caffeine) and appetite suppressant, it is consumed initially by the gauchos.

- Mate coca: Not to be confused with the previous one, this is a tea made from coca leaves. Very nice and well known for its energizing and anti-altitude sickness.

- Beer: the cheapest is the pressure, called Shop. Bottled, the most common are the Escudo, the Royal and Kunstmann. In the South, the Southern is widespread.

- Pisco national drink of Chile, is a water-of-life grape. Do not miss under any circumstances to test the cocktail pisco sour, omnipresent, made with 3 parts pisco, a lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of sugar and one egg white finger, all on a bed of ice crushed. Use in moderation.

- Vaina: retro cocktail taste, made coffee liqueur, sherry and egg.

- Cola de mono (monkey tail!): Strange mixture of water spirits, coffee, milk, vanilla, served chilled. Prepares only the Christmas period.

- Chicha: fermented fruit juice and alcohol, very popular. Beware: this is a traitor! Not to be confused with the Andean chicha, made from fermented corn.

Chilean wines

The vast majority of Chilean grapes, not grafted, have a lifetime (experts say) three or four times that of a grafted vineyard (in Europe). This is from the mid-1980s that viticulture is growing strongly. Big names like Torres and Rothschild are beginning to invest in the country and orient production towards quality wines for export. The area of
​​vines (devoted to wine production) more than doubled in fifteen years. Meanwhile, exports (nearly 50% of production about half flew to Europe) have experienced a spectacular boom (+ 500%!). Today, with nearly 5% of the world, Chile has risen to seventh place worldwide.

There are three major producing regions: Maule, Bernardo O'Higgins and Santiago metropolitan region especially with the Maipo Valley. Not to mention the regions of Bío-Bío, Valparaiso and Coquimbo.

There are over a hundred fields, but five major companies produce 60% of local wine: Concha y Toro, Santa Rita, San Pedro, Santa Carolina and Emiliana. And there are also quite a Franco-Chilean wine Casa Lapostolle, Los Boldos, Las Casas del Toqui, Baron Philippe de Rothschild ... Many wineries are also open to visitors.

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