Monday, February 11, 2013

Chilean Cuisine: It Has It All!

Chilean cuisine represents the country’s historical influences as well as its local indigineous ingredients. Chile is especially noted for its richness in both variety and quality of fish and seafood. Chile has also been producing wines for over 400 years now.
Empanadas, or folded meat pies, are widely reknown as Chile’s national dish. The classic Chilean empanada is filled with seasoned, minced meat and onions, and is garnished with hard-boiled eggs, olives, and raisins.

While many people are familiar with Chile’s corvina, better known to US diners as the Chilean sea bass, the Humboldt current off the coast of Chile brings a rich and diverse supply of seafood to Chile’s coast, including squid, crabs, oysters, prawns, salmon, tuna, and more.

The rich soil of the central region of Chile has been used for growing the grapes used in world-reknowned wines and spirits for hundreds of years. As winemaking spreads throughout the country, vintners are finding that the same current which brings a wealth of seafood to Chile’s shores also brings challenges to growing grapes, as the current brings with it cool air. Most vineyards, in the inland valleys of the Andean foothills, rely on irrigation via the snow melt from the mountains.

Chile has a long and rich history of fusing native ingredients, tastes, and techniques with new and outside influences. Nowhere is this more obvious than the completo, a hot dog served with chopped tomatoes, a large amount of mayonnaise, and sauerkraut!