Introduction to Chilean Street Food
Chilean cuisine is a reflection of the country’s diverse geography, history, and culture. The street food scene in Chile is no different, offering a wide variety of delicious and unique snacks and drinks that reflect the country’s culinary heritage. From empanadas to churros, Chilean street food has something for everyone.
In Chile, street food vendors are a common sight in markets, parks, and busy city streets. Many of these vendors have been selling their specialties for generations, passing down their recipes and techniques from one generation to the next. The result is a vibrant and flavorful street food scene that has become an integral part of Chilean culture.
A Taste of Chile: Empanadas
No discussion about Chilean street food would be complete without mentioning empanadas. These savory pastries are typically filled with beef, onions, and raisins, though other varieties with chicken or cheese are also popular. The dough is usually made with flour, lard, and water, and is shaped into a half-moon before being baked or fried.
Empanadas are a ubiquitous street food in Chile, and can be found in many markets and street corners throughout the country. They are often served with pebre, a spicy salsa made with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Chilean empanadas are a must-try for anyone visiting the country.
Seafood Delights: Chorrillana and Chilean Ceviche
Chorrillana is a popular street food that originated in the coastal city of Valparaiso. It consists of a large platter of french fries topped with beef, onions, and fried eggs. It’s hearty, filling, and perfect for sharing with friends.
Another seafood delight is Chilean ceviche, which is made with raw fish marinated in lime juice and spices. It’s a refreshing and tangy dish that’s perfect for a hot summer day. Ceviche can be found at many street food stands and restaurants throughout Chile.
Sweet Treats: Sopaipillas and Churros
Sopaipillas are a sweet and savory snack made from pumpkin dough that’s deep-fried and served with pebre or honey. They are a popular street food in Chile, especially during the winter months when they are sold in markets and fairs throughout the country.
Churros are another sweet treat that can be found at many street food stands in Chile. These long, thin pastries are fried until crispy and served with dulce de leche or chocolate sauce. They are a delicious and indulgent dessert that’s perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth.
Beverages: Mote con Huesillo and Terremoto
Mote con huesillo is a traditional Chilean drink made with cooked wheat and dried peaches. It’s sweet and refreshing, and is often sold by street vendors in large plastic cups. It’s a perfect drink for a hot day.
Terremoto is another popular Chilean beverage that’s made with pipeño wine, pineapple ice cream, and grenadine syrup. It’s a sweet and boozy drink that’s perfect for a night out with friends.
Where to Find the Best Street Food in Chile
The best places to find street food in Chile are in markets and fairs. Santiago’s Mercado Central is a great place to try seafood dishes like ceviche and chorrillana, while the La Vega Central market is a great place to try empanadas and sopaipillas. The La Serena craft fair is another great place to try traditional Chilean snacks and drinks.