When you are thinking about typical Chilean dishes, or about what to eat in Chile, you inevitably associated it with South American gastronomy. But Chile is a country of fusions of gastronomy half way between modernity and tradition.
In Chile, the typical dishes depend on the time of year, each season has its own gastronomy. In winter, soups, stews and dishes eaten with a spoon are at the forefront. In summer however, the food is lighter and made with fresh products.
In general, Chilean gastronomy comprises of one dish, although sometimes it is accompanied by a starter. But let's look in more detail what to eat in Chile and which are its typical dishes.
This dish is a vegetable soup to which meat is added, it can be chicken, beef, or lamb. It is a typical dish that you will find throughout the country, especially if you visit during the winter months.
Caldillo de Congrio (conger stock)
Belonging to the northern part of Chile, this is a very well-known dish. It is a stock based on fish or crab, although it is also made with prawns and cream.
This traditional dish is made for a minimum of 25 people, so it's more than a traditional dish, it's a celebration. Seafood, potatoes, beef, chorizo, chicken and seaweed are cooked in an enormous hole in the ground. The hot coal is placed above the hole, giving it a mixture of very characteristic flavours. It is typical of the south of the country and is usually made during the traditional festivals that are celebrating in the summer.
It is a typical Chilean winter soup which has minced meat, potatoes and noodles. A very tasty and hearty soup which helps you to re-energise and warm up.
Pastel de Choclo (sweetcorn pie)
Of the dishes to eat in Chile, sweetcorn pie is a must-try. It is made with a corn dough (choclo) on a base of meat. Sugar is often added on top. The mix can seem strange, but you can’t go to Chile and not try it.
Empanada de pino (pasty)
Chilean empanadas are different to other South American countries. They are cooked in the oven, although if they are made of seafood or cheese they are sometimes fried. The empanada de pino (pasty), however, is made from a base of meat with egg and olives. A perfect place for trying Chilean empanadas is in the central market of Santiago.
It is a grilled fish dish made with cheese, tomato and sausage. This dish is typical of the Llanquihue province in the south of Chile. Its name is of Mapuche origin and you can find it in many restaurants in the south of the country.
They are a dough of boiled potato, similar to a large dumpling that can be sweet or savoury. They are boiled and served with honey or sugar in their sweet type, or with pork scratchings if they are savoury.
This dish from Chilean gastronomy is a traditional stew of dried meat, which also includes pumpkin, peas, corn, carrots and potatoes. Other typical ingredients are boiled Swiss chard.
It is a typical food based on fries with fried onion and egg, which becomes a good dish of fried egg with chips. Originating from Valparaíso, Chorillana also contains meat in some parts of the country.
Milcao or Milcado, is a stew of grated potato to which lard is added. To make the dish, half of the potatoes are cooked and crushed whilst the other half are grated and squeezed out. There are different varieties: Roasted, fried, curanto, pealed or potato flour Milcaos.
It is a soup made to use up leftovers from a barbecue, to which potato, onion and egg are added. A good and tasty way of not wasting food at the same time as making a delicious dish.
But, as well as all of the typical Chilean dishes that you can try, don’t forget the desserts. In Chile there are delicacies such as Chilenitos, similar to cake or doughnuts, which are doughnuts with honey. Pan de Pascua (Easter bread), Leche nevada (‘snowy milk) or Torta curicana (curican tort) will make you drool.
Don’t forget, travelling to Chile is also a journey of discovery for your palate. Don’t miss the chance and try all of the charms of Chilean gastronomy.