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Cuisine ala Chile

http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4743062387099506&pid=15.1The country’s name may sound real spicy the first time you hear it, but what we know as the hot and spicy fruit we all know as ‘chili’ has absolutely nothing to do with the name of the country and its cuisine. In fact, many of the dishes native to the country of Chile are not spicy at all. The origin of the country’s name actually has many stories behind it. Although none of them can actually be verified, the one thing they all have in common is how the Chilean cuisine was influenced locally and internationally throughout history.

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[one_half_last]Before the arrival, and eventual colonization and immigration, of foreigners to the country, northern Chile was under the rule of the Incas, while the southern regions where occupied by the Araucanian Indians. The local dishes were primarily made of ingredients such as maize (corn), beans, peanuts, beef of llamas or horses, goose, various seafood, various fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, and various herbs and spices native to the land.[/one_half_last]

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Later on, foreigners introduced pork meat, beef, lamb, garlic, milk, and wine. Many natives remained traditional, so many of the structures of the dishes have not changed. There are, however, who have added a few twists here and there to create some variations.

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Now, let us take a look at some of these authentic Chilean dishes.

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Guatitas(cow stomach stew) is a popular dish in the northern part of Chile. It is mainly a stew wherein the cow stomach is cut into strips (tripe), which is then cleaned thoroughly in lemon-juice mixed with water and salt. Afterwards,meat is boiled until it is tender. The dish has quite a strong taste, so it is served in small quantities at a time.

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Caldillo de congrio is a popular Chilean fish stew made of red conger eel, which is common in the Chilean Sea. The soup base is made by boiling together fish heads, carrots and various herbs and aromatics. After boiling, the stock is drained and set aside. Then, onions and garlic are fried together with chopped tomatoes, mixed then with the stock, liquid cream, boiled potatoes, and conger.

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Pastel de choclo is a popular layered pie in the central areas of Chile. Its pie-base is made of sweetcorn. There is no definite mix for the filling, but most of the timeit contains ground meat, raisins, onions, and sometimes slices of hardboiled egg. The pie is served in earthenware bowlsfor each individual.

Pan de Pascua, commonly known to us as fruitcake, is a popular Chilean cake usually eaten in Christmas.[/one_half]

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It is basically a sweet, ginger-honey flavoredthat usually contains candied fruits, raisins, walnuts and almonds. The dessert was first introduced by German immigrants, who showed their version of the German Stollen.

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Curanto is a native food popular in the southern areas of Chile. The food is prepared and cooked in a very big and deep hole dug in the ground. The bottom of the hole is covered with bonfire heated stones. The ingredients are made up of various shellfish and meat, potatoes, milcao, chapaleles, and various vegetables. The amount of ingredients added are not certain, but there should be just a little bit of everything. The layers of ingredients are each covered with Chilean rhubarb leaves. Then, they are all covered with wet sacks, dirt and grass chunks. After about an hour, everything should be ready to eat.

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So, no matter where you go in Chile, there will be always something for you to experience and remember. Just going through their dishes will definitely be an adventure worth doing.