I am not going to talk too much; we are hungry and we want to eat some Chilean food. So let’s start!
Pastel de Choclo
My favourite Chilean dish is “Pastel de choclo”. It is made with a base of corn and inside you have different types of meat, raisins, olives, onion and boiled egg pieces. The last step of the preparation is to cook in the oven with some sugar on top in order to obtain a nice color and crispy texture. I ate many versions of it and I also saw how it was prepared. Preparing the base of corn is actually very difficult!
It looks small, but it is one very complete meal when you eat an empanada. In the dough, you have a lot of butter which makes it extremely tasty (I also heard that in the country side, it was very common to use fat from pigs, and nowadays some people still use that). Inside you can have different types of meats, vegetables and cheese. The most traditional is the one that they bake in a special type of oven called ”horno de barro” (see in the photo) and inside they put ”pino”. Pino in Spanish would mean pine tree, but in Chile it means the mixture of minced meat, onion and spices. In a classical Chilean empanada, you would have pino, some raisins, a quarter of a boiled egg and an olive.
There is also a fried version of empanada, which is obviously heavier and has a different style, and inside you have different ingredients as seafood, cheese etc.
Pebre is a kind of salad made with tomato, onion, coriander and “aji” which is a hot chili pepper. Mostly everything here can be eaten with pebre. Apart from the spiciness, it is very tasty and gives a special flavor to many dishes that I’ve tasted in Chile.
Pastel de Jaiba
Looks like pastel de choclo but instead of corn, this delicious meal has meat of crab and a lot of cheese. It is served right out of oven. Very very tasty!
If you want me to describe completos in 2 words I would say ‘complete hotdogs’. It is basically a hot-dog and on top of it, depending the type of completo, you will have avocado, tomato, sauerkraut, corn, onions (fresh or fried), mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard. It is way more delicious than a normal hot-dog, but be careful when you are eating it because you might end up with a very dirty t-shirt if you cannot handle all the ingredients inside!
Asado is the Chilean word for barbeque. As far as I saw, making barbeque here is an important activity that most of the Chileans enjoy. Many weekend plans would start and end up with the same sentence: ”Let’s make an asado all together!” Moreover, the Chileans really know how to cook in the barbeque, the meat cooks incredibly tasty.
The most tasty barbeque that I’ve eaten in my life was in a party where they cooked a very thick piece of meat in the barbeque. I’ve never seen that juicy and perfectly cooked piece of meat in my life!
A very complete dish; has meat, potatoes, onion, pumpkin and corn. A perfect plate for winter.
Porotos Granados con Longaniza
A typical plate of Chilean cuisine from the country side. The main ingredient is the white bean, has also pumpkin and corn cooked with tomato sauce and onions. It is served with a sausage in the same plate.
Small pieces of meat come together on a long stick, and are cooked in the barbeque. Brochette could be a good translation for this delicious happiness.
Churrasco and Chacarero
There are many types of sandwiches in Chile. They are all very rich of ingredients and delicious. Churrasco is a piece of grilled beef. And chacarero is the type of sandwich with pieces of churrasco in it. Churrasco is accompanied by green beans, tomato and aji. Although the classic chacarero has these ingredients some people might add avocado and cheese to make it even richer!
Choripan as a word is a mixture of chorizo and pan, which is literally correct. Chorizo is a type of sausage cooked in barbeque and put in a small piece of bread. It is generally served with pebre! Worth to try and not only that, worth to eat like crazy.
Keep some space in your stomach for the second part!
All images © 2017 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.