Comida Chilena: A Foodie’s Guide to Chile’s Best Eats

Christina Werthwine is a student at Western Carolina University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

Chile is known for a lot of things (their language/chilenismos, history, amazing landscape), but their cuisine isn’t one of them. There are a few foods that are a must try and often serve the question “Did you really study abroad in Chile?” if you haven’t tried them. Here’s a foodie’s guide to the best eats Chile has to offer:

Empanada de Pino: This is an empanada filled with meat, an olive, and a boiled egg. Weird combination? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely! They also have other options like Napoleono (pepperoni and cheese inside) or just plain cheese, but if you are not a vegetarian I would recommend trying the one “de Pino” which is most popular. Empanadas in general are great on-the-go food and you can find them easily around Chile from local street venders.

My first time trying empanadas was in Santiago, Chile!
In Pomaire, Chile they are known for their empanadas weighing up to one-kilo!

Completo: A ‘Complete’ hotdog with shredded tomatoes, palta (avocado), and mayonnaise drizzled on top. This is a really yummy Chilean snack with a really cool combination that should really be carried on to the States! These you can find easily around Chile from local street vendors as well.

I got to try my first Completo as a late-night-snack with a friend in Santiago. It was super yummy with french fries!

Pebre: This is a very typical Chilean salsa that mixes tomatoes, onion, green chili, garlic, and olive oil. This is typically eaten with bread at the beginning of a meal.

Choripán: Meaning Chorizo (Chori) with bread (Pan), is another type of hotdog that has pebre on top. You can also add mayonnaise to have a different taste. These have an interesting flavor that I have never experienced before coming to Chile.

For an ISA ‘Fiestas Patrias’ celebration we got to try Choripan con pebre.

Chilean Bread: Typically eaten for all the meals of the day. Chilean bread is of its own kind. If you are studying in Chile you will find it being served mostly at a time called “Once” which is a kind of “tea-time” you have with your friends and family all while eating bread with jams, cheese, butter, avocado, and more!

Cakes and pastries are often served with ‘Once’ as well. Definitely try anything with ‘Manjar’ which is like Dulce de Leche!

With this list of foods to try you are sure to have a ‘barriga llena y corazón contento’ (full belly and happy heart) to take on Chile!

Have you studied/traveled to Chile? What foods do you recommend to try while studying there? Comment below!

The world awaits…discover it.

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