So, this will probably differ from most people’s lists about their favourite Chilean foods. You could usually expect to see lists that are made up of meat on the BBQ, completos (hotdogs with avocado, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup and mustard – I made the veggie version here) and a range of different sandwiches with the main ingredient being… meat! But, I don’t eat meat so this is a bit of an alternative list!
Last week I wrote about the foods that I will miss from the UK, and today is the day where I have thought about the foods that I really can’t wait to eat in Chile!
Let’s start with the best, the very best! I’ve said this before, but it can’t be emphasised how important avocados are to every Chilean. Avocados are a daily staple that can be found in every Chilean’s home. When you go into the supermarket you will find a huge, HUGE selection of avocados; different types and also different levels of readiness so people often buy avocados that are ready for now and also the cheaper option of the ones that you will need to ripen at home. Avocado is eaten on bread for breakfast, in sandwiches, in salads, with meat – just about all the time! And what’s better than a really, really fresh avocado? Carlos’ sister’s garden has a few avocado trees so non-stop avocados in season; here is me with them!
But they have bread everywhere, right? Bread, like avocado, is a huge deal in Chile. In fact, Chile is the country that almost consumes the most bread in the world (after Germany). It’s more likely that Chileans buy bread rolls rather than loaves of bread, and bread is bought most days rather than as part of a weekly shop. Bakeries are seen often and the smell wafts across the streets. Chilean bread is so good, especially if you manage to buy it when it has just been baked and it really isn’t unusual to see people carrying between 20-30 bread rolls home at a time. Carlos said that would last a family until tomorrow!
With such a long coastline, seafood is easily available, both fresh and tinned. If you go to the beach, most places will be selling seafood stuffed empanadas, ceviche or anything seafood related! I hadn’t eaten a huge variety of seafood before Chile apart from prawns and mussels, I was much more likely to eat fish. But I’ll never forget the first empanada I had with ostiones and cheese, it was so good! I also like to buy seafood for the BBQ and put cheese inside just as the shell opens!
A list of food can include a drink, right? Pisco is the national spirit in Chile and one that is drunk often! It’s most commonly drunk with coke or made into a pisco sour – a blend of pisco, lemon and egg white (don’t worry – there is no egg taste, it just creates the froth!) Anyway, you can also use it to just about make any type of fruit into a sour – mango sour, chirimoya sour, and the best of all – maracuja sour – passion fruit sour! Best made with fresh passion fruit. The perfect blend of sharp and sweet and one that my sister in laws have perfected!
Maybe a weird one because of course we have tomatoes in the UK too! But Chilean tomatoes are oh so fresh, they are extra juicy and red and make the best salads you could imagine. ‘Ensalada Chilena’ is made up of just tomatoes and onions, sounds simple but with tomatoes this good, it tastes divine! Also perfect when eaten with avocado, obviously!
That leaves me to also say that this Friday is a very special day, and in fact whole weekend, for Chileans – a day that is celebrated to remember the beginning of the Chilean independence process. Feliz 18!!
And lastly, here’s a BBQ shot to fit with the more typical Chilean food ;):
Which of these foods do you like the sound of?