Meat and potatoes are popular in the cuisine of southern Chile. The omnipresent cazuela (a plate of rice and potatoes with beef or chicken) and pastel de choclo (a corn, meat, and vegetable casserole) are solid, hearty meals. But it is the seafood that most sets this region apart from other places. In Puerto Montt, tourists regularly fall in love with the local shellfish offerings, especially when served in traditional plates like curanto (cooked by hot stones) and paila marina (seafood stew).

Among the greatest gifts from the waves of German immigrants were their tasty k├╝chen, rich fruit-filled pastries (raspberry and local murta berries are a special favorite here). Sample them during the late-afternoon onces, the coffee breaks locals take to tide them over until dinner. The Germans also brought their beer-making prowess to the New World; Valdivia, in particular, is where the popular Kunstmann brand got its start.

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