The Famous Cuisine And Wine Of Chile

Retirees who’ve made the choice to live in Chile will be pleased by the country’s quality of culturally distinctive food and drink. The cuisine and wine of Chile are renowned not only among the other countries of South America, but also in the worldwide culinary arena.

Staple Ingredients in the Cuisine of Chile

Chile’s extensive coastline, thousands of miles in length, dictates that seafood is a major element of the Chilean culinary tradition. Shellfish such as prawns, shrimp, abalone, crabs, shrimp and oysters are prominent. Other popular fish include the Chilean sea bass, which is served in many restaurants in the United States and throughout the world, as well as albacore tuna, sole, squid and more.
Products of Chilean agriculture also play a part in the country’s cuisine. Corn, known as choclo or maiz in Chile and throughout South and Central America, is particularly important to a number of Chilean dishes. Other crops often used include potatoes, quinoa, the Andes Mountain fruit known as chirimoya and lucuma.

Popular Dishes of Chilean Cuisine

Chile is known for many intriguing and tasty dishes. Some of these include:

  • Cazuela de ave: A hearty stew made from a blend of chicken, potatoes, rice, green peppers and optional onions.
  • Chilean salad (ensalada Chilena): Containing ingredients common to many garden salads around the world, such as onions, tomatoes and olive oil, Chilean salad is distinguished by its use of cilantro leaves and lemon juice.
  • Corn and meat pie (pastel de choclo): This confection uses corn, ground beef and chicken as its basis. Olives, onions and raisins give it an interesting twist, and it’s prepared with milk and butter and baked in the manner of an Irish shepherd’s pie.
  • Tomato and corn stew: Known to Chileans as tomatican, this stew is typically employed as a side dish with meat, chicken or fish. It consists of tomatoes, corn, garlic, onions and pinches of parsley and salt.

The Basics of Chile’s Wines

Chile’s long history of wine production dates back to the 16th century and the country’s occupation by the Spanish. French immigrants would later bring their own wine expertise to Chile, planting wine-making grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that remain in the country’s vineyards to this day.
Chilean wines have distinguished themselves among the best in the world. At the Berlin Wine Tastings of 2004, 2005 and 2006, red wines from Chile placed in the top ten each time. In the country’s contemporary culinary settings, Chilean wines are regularly enjoyed according to common Chilean customs.