SANTIAGO, Chile - Chile, like every country, has some of its own unique, popular dishes. Chilean cuisine includes a combination of Spanish influences with later influences from Europe and the Middle East.
One of the most popular options available is the empanada, dough wrapped around different food combinations cooked within. It can be baked or fried and filled with almost anything.
The most popular empanada in Chile is called pino. It includes beef, onions, hard boiled eggs, raisins, shortening, peppers and exactly one black olive. Other common empanadas are made with cheese, meat or shrimp.
Another popular Chilean dish is the pobre, which means “poor man’s dish.” This dish includes a small portion of meat with french fries and a fried egg on top. It can also be served with fried onions on the side.
Besides these dishes, fast food is also abundant in Chile, but not the familiar American fast food. For Chileans the best thing after a night out is to order a completo.
A completo is a hot dog – well, several hot dogs, usually – that are served in a fresh-baked bun. The most common completos are covered in mayonnaise, avocado and tomato. These are called Italian completos because they have the colors of Italy’s flag. They can also include sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup or anything else a person
might desire. Plus, they can be up to half a meter long.
Besides these popular Chilean dishes, the country is also known for its alcohol, especially its wine and pisco. The countries of Chile and Peru are both known for the alcoholic pisco, made from Chilean and Peruvian grapes.
In Chile, pisco is 30 to 50 percent alcohol. It comes in many flavors, as there are a variety of grape types that are combined with other fruits, including mango and papaya. Pisco can be bought very cheap, so it is popular among students.
Finally, there are the desserts of Chile. Dessert is usually served after a large lunch rather than after dinner. Many of the desserts in Chile include manjar in some format.
Manjar is a very common treat in Chile. In other countries it is known by the name of
dulce de leche or milk sweet. It has a texture similar to caramel but with a distinct flavor. It is full of sugar and is used in many pastries and desserts, including pies and ice cream.
While Chile has a variety of food to offer the world, many countries do not know anything about their cuisine. However, as globalization continues, these and many dishes from other countries will finally become available and known in other areas of the world.