Cuisine in Chile is fairly similar to Argentina, including our very favourite dulce de leche that here is called manjar. Surprisingly, some of the best Chilean food and drink items for us weren’t new, Chilean famous food, rather new ways the Chileans do it. Read on, and you’ll cachai what I mean.
My favourite Chilean food
Unexpectedly, we are rediscovering bread in Chile. Unlike to the countries we visited so far, here we find very tasty types, such as hallulla, marraqueta and pan amasado. They remain fresh for days and despite being “only” white bread, there’s something special that amazes our taste buds. Best when toasted!
Or avocado. Chileans are in love with this super-food, no doubt and actually I’ve promoted palta to a sort of Chilean famous food – because it’s so-so popular. They eat it squashed and salted as a paste on their delicious bread for once (pronounce “onse”, light supper), or as a sauce on their salad. Besides mayo, palta is the most important ingredient in the famous street snack, completo (hot dog). Completo italiano is a type of completo prepared with palta, mayo and ketchup – the colours of the Italian flag. Avocado is such an important part of life that a radio channel is named after it. Radio palta!
A very sour and very healthy fruit that is typical in La Serena region. Its look outside resembles somewhat an artichoke and when it’s open it reminds me of kiwi with its millions of black seeds. Refreshing fruit juice is made of it with a lot of additional powder sugar or with additional sweetener. It’s nice to eat raw (sweetened) as well. Here’s another article about copao in Spanish for those who are interested.
My favourite Chilean drinks
1. Pisco sour
Without doubt, this is my very favourite new drink that I discovered on this trip. The main ingredient is pisco, which is a brandy type of alcohol most famously made in Pisco Elqui, in Valle del Elqui (an extraordinary place where we spent New Year’s Eve). Pisco is mixed with the juice of lemons, a considerable amount of powder sugar, a little bit of raw egg white for the foam and cinnamon to decorate. The result is a sweet and refreshing cocktail that is easy to make and VERY easy to drink. Here’s a recipe. Pisco is also famous in Peru – for us it’s yet to be discovered in the coming months.
Read more: Our New Year’s Eve in Valle del Elqui
2. Mote con huesillo
This non-alcoholic cocktail is served with a spoon since there’s wheat seeds (huesillos) and a peach inside – so actually it could even be a Chilean famous food! It’s sweet and very refreshing, sold in bars and by street vendors alike.
It’s not a favourite drink but I want to mention it since the name made me laugh – it means earthquake! It’s a cheap and low quality drink made of the worst white wine (boxed or in a plastic bottle), pineapple ice cream and optionally strawberry syrup that dominates the taste of the drink. It’s famously known that if someone drinks even one terremoto, they will have a terrible hangover the next day. With this fame, we definitely had to try it, but we were very well prepared with food afterwards and plenty of water, so we were disappointed the next day.
What is your favourite drink? And the most surprising you ever had? Share your anecdote with us!