I. Ate. It. All.
One way to travel Chile is eat and drink your way north to south. Or east to west. Or islands to mountains. Eat all over that country because everything there is incredibly fresh and delicious. Buen provecho!
Despite Chilean Seabass being all the rage stateside, hake, a flakey white fish; corvina, similar to sea bass; and congrio, a white eel with a mild flavor are the most common fish on a Chilean dinner plate. Tuna and salmon can be prepared in sushi or tartare.
Large mussels, oysters, sea urchins, and razor clams can be eaten straight from the sea. Or mix up a mussel ceviche and serve with Chile’s staple bread, marraqueta, famous for its crust. Eat crabs fresh or in a soup or stew. Pastel de Jailbas is a creamy chowder-souffle-casserole and it is many-hyphened-awesome.
Guanacos are part of the camelid family and look a lot like their cousin llamas. It is virtually free of fat and cholesterol and thus a bit tough, not unlike venison. They are not often eaten by Chileans, but sometimes offered as a novelty.
Farm Fresh Eggs
Eggs come in an incredible variety of colors, including blue.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Famous for fresh produce, Chile is a top exporter of fruits blueberries, grapes, cherries, kiwis, pear, plum, avocados and grows olives, papayas, beans, maize, potatoes and quinoa. Above, wild artichokes grow along the road.
Don’t let Europe fool you: More than 90 percent of modern potato varieties outside the Andes have a common origin in potatoes found in southern Chile. There are about 400 varieties in of potatoes in Chile, and they have unique shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors.
Chile’s wineries and vineyards are exceptional, producing wines from distinct terroirs. Fruit forward, herbaceous, and complex, wines varieties like Carménère, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir are exceptional in quality and winning accolades worldwide.
Chile has a surprisingly long relationship with brewing beer, thanks in part to a wave of German immigrants in the mid-19th century. While Cristal is the major domestic brew, microbreweries are gaining popularity throughout the country. Cerveza Austral, the “southernmost brewery in the world” combines German technique with glacial water. Best enjoyed with views of Patagonia in the distance.
Pisco and Murta Sours
The pisco sour is a South American staple, and the murta sour is a fresh twist on the classic. Pisco, a type of brandy, is shaken with pica lime, simple syrup, and ice (in Peru, an egg white and bitters are frothed in). Murta, a Chilean myrtle berry from an indigenous evergreen bush, sweetens up the traditionally tart taste. Chile’s National Spirit dictates that you must drink a Pisco sour if you want to return the country, so bottoms up!