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Travel Guide > South America > Chile

Chile Restaurants & Eating

  
 
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Chilean food

Pastel de choclo

corn casserole filled with ground beef, onions, chicken, raisins, hardboiled egg, olives, and topped with sugar and butter.

Empanada de pino

a baked pie filled with ground beef, onion, raisins, a piece of boiled egg and a black olive. Watch out for the pit.

Empanada de queso

a deep-fried pastry packet filled with cheese. Found everywhere, including McDonald's.

Cazuela de vacuno

beef soup with a potato, rice, a piece of corn and a piece of squash.

Cazuela de ave (or de pollo)

same as above, but with a piece of chicken.

Cazuela de pavo

same as above, but with turkey.

Porotos granados

stew made with fresh beans, squash, corn, onion and basil.

  • con choclo: with grains of corn.
  • con pilco or pirco: with corn thinly chopped.
  • con mazamorra: with ground corn.
  • con riendas: with thin sliced noodles.

Curanto

lots of seafood, beef, chicken and pork, potatoes, cheese, and potato "burguers," prepared in a hole in the ground ("en hoyo") or in a pot ("en olla"); a dish from Chiloé.

Southern sopaipillas

a fried pastry cut as 10-cm (4-in) circles, with no pumpkin in its dough. They replace bread. They are known South of Linares.

Lomo a lo pobre

a beefsteak, fried potatoes, a fried egg (expect two in restaurants) and fried onions.

Besides typical foods, you should expect food normally found in any Western country. The normal diet includes rice, potatoes, meat and bread. Vegetables are abundant in central Chile. If you are concerned about the portions, consider that the size of the dish increases the farther south you travel.

With such an enormous coastline, you can expect fish and seafood almost everywhere. Locals used to eat bundles of raw shellfish, but visitors should be cautious of raw shellfish because of frequent outbreaks of red tides. Chile is the world's second largest producer of salmon, as well as a number of other farmed sea products, which include oysters, scallops, mussels, trout and turbot. Local fish include corvina (sea bass), congrio(conger eel), lenguado (flounder), albacora (swordfish), and yellow fin tuna.

Sandwiches

Hotdog or completo

Not similar to the American version. This one includes mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, tomato, mashed avocado (palta), sauerkraut (chucrut) and chili (ají). These ingredients make a full sandwich, called un completo. With mayonnaise, tomato and avocado it's un italiano with the colors of the Italian flag.

Lomito

Cooked pork steaks served with anything that can go in a hotdog. Italiano is the preferred form but German purists prefer it with sauerkraut (chucrut).

Chacarero

a thin beefsteak (churrasco) with tomato, green beans, mayonnaise and green chili (ají verde).

Barros Luco

Named after President Ramón Barros Luco. Thinly-sliced beefsteak with cheese.

Choripán

Bread with "chorizo", a highly-seasoned pork sausage. Named that way because the contraction of "Pan con Chorizo" or "Chorizo con Pan".

A common combination is meat with avocado and/or mayonnaise, e.g. Ave palta mayo (chicken with avocado and mayonnaise) or Churrasco palta (thinly-sliced beefsteak with avocado). The strong presence for avocado is a Chilean standard for sandwiches that influences the fast food franchises to include it in their menus.

Desserts

Northern sopaipillas

a fried pastry cut as 10-cm (4-in) circles, which includes pumpkin in its dough, and normally is eaten with chancaca, a black treacle or molasses. It's customary to make them when it rains and it's cold outside. Sopaipillas as a dessert are only known north of San Javier. From Linares to the South, they are not dessert and pumpkin is left out, so, when it rains, Chilean Southerners must cook picarones. In Santiago, can be served covered with a sweet syrup as a dessert, or with spicy yellow mustard.Sopaipillas

Kuchen (or cújen, pronounced KOO-hen)

Kuchen is German for pie. In the South ask for kuchen de quesillo, a kind of cheesecake.

Strudel (pronounced ess-TROO-dayl)

A kind of apple pie.

Berlín

When they translate John Kennedy's famous quote (often mistakenly thought of as a gaffe) they say it's a “jelly doughnut”. The Chilean version is a ball of dough (no hole) filled with dulce de membrillo, crema pastelera or manjar. Powder sugar is added just in case you have a sweet tooth.

Cuchuflí

Barquillo (tube of something crunchy like a cookie) filled with manjar. The name originally comes from cuchufleta wich means deceipt or trickery, as they used to be filled only at the tips of the barquillos, leaving the middle part empty.

Fruit

Central Chile is a major tempered fruit producer, you can easily get fruit for dessert, including apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, watermelons, strawberries, raspberries, chirimoyas, and several other varieties.

Temperate fruit is of very high quality and prices are usually much lower than in most of the U.S. and Western Europe, while tropical fruit is rather rare and expensive, except for bananas.





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