What are some must-try dishes for a first-time visitor to Chile?

CHILEAN FOOD. Fish soup CALDILLO DE CONGRIO served in clay bowl, top view.
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Chilean cuisine for first-timers

Chilean cuisine is a vibrant and diverse mix of indigenous and colonial influences that has been shaped by the country’s geography, climate, and history. From the Pacific coast to the Andean mountains, Chile’s cuisine features a variety of fresh seafood, meats, fruits, and vegetables that reflect the country’s agricultural abundance. Whether you’re a foodie or a first-time visitor, Chile offers a gastronomic experience that’s worth savoring.

Empanadas: A Chilean staple

Empanadas are a classic Chilean snack that are served at any time of the day. These savory pastries come in a variety of fillings, including cheese, meat, seafood, and vegetables. The most popular empanada is the pino, which is filled with ground beef, onions, raisins, and olives. Empanadas are typically baked or fried and are served hot, accompanied by a glass of Chilean wine or a cold beer. They are perfect for a quick lunch or a snack on the go.

Completo: A Chilean-style hotdog

Completo is a unique twist on the traditional hotdog, and a must-try for any first-time visitor to Chile. This Chilean-style hotdog is served with a variety of toppings, including avocado, tomato, mayonnaise, and sauerkraut. The completo is a hearty meal that’s perfect for a quick lunch or a late-night snack. It’s a popular street food, and you can find it in any corner of the city.

Pastel de Choclo: A sweet and savory corn pie

Pastel de Choclo is a traditional Chilean dish that is made with a sweet and savory corn filling. The filling consists of ground beef, onions, raisins, olives, and hard-boiled eggs, and is layered on top of a creamy corn mixture made with fresh corn and milk. The dish is baked in the oven until the corn topping is golden brown and crispy. Pastel de Choclo is a popular dish for family gatherings and special occasions, and it’s a great way to experience Chilean cuisine.

Asado: A Chilean barbecue

Asado is a traditional Chilean barbecue that’s perfect for meat lovers. It’s a social event that brings families and friends together to enjoy grilled meats, sausages, and vegetables. The meats are marinated with Chilean spices and grilled over hot coals, giving them a unique smoky flavor. Asado is typically served with homemade chimichurri sauce, fresh salads, and traditional Chilean bread. If you’re looking for an authentic Chilean experience, look no further than an asado.

Pisco Sour: A classic Chilean cocktail

Pisco Sour is a classic Chilean cocktail that’s perfect for a night out. It’s made with pisco, a grape brandy that’s produced in Chile, along with lemon juice, sugar, and egg whites. The cocktail is shaken and served in a glass with ice, and is typically garnished with a dash of bitters. Pisco Sour is a refreshing and tasty drink that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer night. You can find it in any bar or restaurant in Chile, and it’s a great way to experience the local culture.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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