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Food Photos from Chile and Argentina

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I was picked up at the Santiago airport by friends and we stopped at a very old established place along the road to Valparaiso. I was introduced to the Chilean habit of putting avocado on everything....almost. It's a chicken sandwich with tomato and avocado on a very good roll.

Missing from photo ....strawberry juice....unbelievably good.

Good start.


Edited by JTravel (log)
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On Sunday afternoon we went up the coast to Concon to have a late lunch at a very local fish place.

First thing that appears is a small dish of Pebre, the salsa of Chile. With it (included in the cover charge) come these special rolls and some butter. Split roll, butter heavily, top with pebre, eat, repeat. A great hunger killer.

One of the appetizers was razor clams, topped with melted cheese (parmesan?). Very fresh and very good....the beginning of a melted cheese journey.

Sorry I missed out on photos of the other dishes, a seafood stew, seafood with pasta, and my perfectly grilled local fish. Salad was served, standard lettuce, tomato and onion with oil and vinegar and/or lemon to dress it.

The view was not bad either. Wonderful time.





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Lovely stuff - brings back memories.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Breakfast at my B&B in Valparaiso was nicely presented with some fresh baked item each morning, along with very freshly squeezed orange juice, french bread, a fruit cup and jams and butter. I'm not a coffee drinker but each table got a french press of coffee.


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IMG_3480.JPGFrom UP in the hills of Valparaiso I go DOWN to the business part of the city in search of a supermarket. I found this Lieder....the S. American branch of Wal-Mart. Friends said this is the place for them to get imported items. But I'm interested in seeing what is local.

Very nice store with a large wine selection. I got some packets of Merken, the local spice mix, along with some emergency cookies and a chocolate bar. Everything looked very clean and there was a very good selection of items.

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I had a couple of "free" days in Valparaiso so I booked a cooking class online before I went. Especially since I was traveling alone at this point it was a good way to meet people and also learn some local recipes.

We met Boris at the top of one of Valpo's famous ascensores you take to go up and down the very steep hills. We walked a couple of blocks to the teaching kitchen which was well outfitted. The cooking school is run by an American who has a B&B across the alley. We looked at a beautiful cookbook of Chilean recipes and agreed on what we would make. Then back down to the market to purchase what we needed. The huge typical "train station" fish market had been badly damaged in the earthquake 2 years ago so stalls were on the street under tarps. No ice in evidence, hope they sold out early. The clam seller picked out the best for us and cleaned and prepared them for us while we shopped. We also visited a couple of produce stalls for tomatoes, cilantro etc.,and the supermarket (of yesterday) to buy a roasted chicken for use in the corn pie.

Back up to the kitchen and we went to work...it was a very hands on class. Pisco sours were on the menu but we weren't allowed those till the knife work was done.

We made Pastel de Choclo the famous corn pie of Chile. It consisted of a meat mixture, a piece of hard cooked egg, black olives, golden raisins and a piece of roasted chicken. Topped with a corn custard type mixture and baked in individual casseroles. Topped with our version of Pebre which was the best of the many I tasted.

Empanadas with mozzerella, I made the baking powder dough with my hands.

The razor clams made another appearance with a bit of white wine and cheese.

After the appetizers and sours we ate the corn pie and drank red and white wines. That was followed by a "Digestivo" which I passed on after all that.

It was fun and informative and Boris sent out our recipes and some extras right away.








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Just one more meal in Valpo. A lovely late lunch in a cafe just behind my B&B. There is nothing to show the size, but this sandwich is HUGE... that is the bread is huge. At least a couple of inches larger in both directions than what we would consider a standard loaf. It is a melted cheese sandwich...with.....wait for it....avocado and tomato. When I finish this and the milkshake with fresh raspberries there is no need for a big dinner.



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It's on to Santiago for a couple days on my own, and then DH and I will join up with a tour.

I regret I have no pictures of my first dinner in Santiago...small as it was. The staff at the B&B said they always like to send guests to the nearby (on the Alemada) Cafe Torres. I did go, but not thinking it would be much I did not take my camera. I "only" had a plate of small beef empanadas but they were the best of the trip....and the ancient place and ancient waiters were something to see. The outside of the building itself is something to see....highly carved, and baby pink in color.


There was a great breakfast at the B&B, cooked to order eggs,fresh fruit, fresh juice, breads and jams and the famous scones. Here everyone sat at one large table and I met very interesting people.1-2012-02-2309.jpg

As suggested I walked in the Lastarria neighborhood where I enjoyed a set menu lunch for about $12. at a Peruvian restaurant. There is always a little starter....here is was crisp fried tortilla strips with a dip and very crunchy fried corn kernals with Merken. A salad, a nice plate of beef and mashed potatoes (and yuca) and a tiny rice pudding. A good deal as the daily specials usually are.1-IMG_3642.JPG1-IMG_3643.JPG1-IMG_3645.JPG

My other dinner on my own was at an old style Italian place on the street of fountains....pedestrian street. I wanted something smallish, simple, and not expensive. This is what I got....enough homemade cheese filled ravioli, topped with meat sauce, for at least 2 people. I did my best...waitress looked unhappy that I didn't finish. 1-IMG_3648.JPG

Nice gelato shop next door where I had a cone the day before.


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The tour group has assembled and we're off to a good start with a winery visit...to Paseo del Vino, a family run,"educational" winery. Nice drive through the valley and a lovely setting.



There is a (translated) talk about how the winery started...the vintner was a long time employee of a big winery...and his passion for wine came through even with our lack of Spanish. There is a walk in the vineyard, only an acre of vines that are bearing now...and we go back inside for wine and food pairings and then dinner.

The outdoor kitchen:1-IMG_3676.JPG

The have a very pleasant setting for wine tastings and all kinds of parties, along with tour groups.


The Choclo de Pastel makes another appearance...very tasty...

A great start to the tour...but everyone has had a long day so back to hotel for a good night's sleep.


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Today a common street scene in Santiago, and apparently, only in Santiago.1-IMG_3769.JPG,1-IMG_3626.JPG

This is the classic street beverage. I had seen it while on my own but didn't realize that it was the peach drink I'd read about. Guide recommended it and 20+ tour members swamped the guy for a taste.1-DSCN4326.JPG

Icy cold and delicious....safe to drink (water is safe in Chile and Argentina). It is made with "stewed" dried peaches, a carmel syrup, and the special ingredient....cooked barley. Some with a spoon for breaking up the pieces of peach, and scooping out the barley.1-IMG_3722.JPG

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After our tour of the city , and the wonderful peach drink we got back on our bus and were delivered to the city market of Santiago. It's time for "fish lunch". We were in a slightly separate room, a bit out of the market traffic.

We had a set meal which started with the cute fish roll...cute but tasteless:1-IMG_3735.JPG

That accompanied some kind of cold molded fish starter. Tasty, but warning to tour members...don't eat a mystery fish dish, in a seafood restaurant when you are allergic to shellfish. Go figure.


Main dish was a selection of mostly fried fishes, I'm sure there were french fries and probably a salad. Good fish, plainly served. I liked watching the waiter cut up a king crab? and serve it to a couple. 1-IMG_3737.JPG 1-IMG_3738-001.JPGThat looked Really good!

In the main hall of the market was another lively fish restaurant along with the usual fresh fish, shellfish, and produce.1-IMG_3745.JPG

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Topping everything with a slice of avocado is my idea of heaven. Unfortunately, living in Toronto I'd have to win the lottery first to be able to afford that. Oh well.

Move down to Exeter. I used to get 10 avocados for 1.00. Nobody wanted them in my tiny backwards town.

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I am really enjoying this. I so want to go to Chile someday.

Is that congrio frito on the plate? We had a Chilean restaurant here for a while that served that and I loved it. Also the pebre, the addictive little rolls, choclo, and amazing variety of empanadas ranging from a the size of a child's fist to almost as big as a football.

I'm looking forward to the pictures from Argentina.

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For a congrio lover this is a nice article about it, and the favorite poet of Chile....Pablo Neruda, in my favorite new travel magazine....Afar.

We were told that it is a fish, not an eel, with lovely white flesh and yes it was included in our plate of fish.

My link

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I've been in Valparaiso, but the tour goes there for a day tour and I see things I haven't seen before. Our "comfort stop" is at a pilgrimage church, after that I visit the food area nearby. This is a busy bus "station" with people coming from all over and they need food. Good place to pick up some local snacks.1-IMG_3770.JPG



Though it is Sunday there is a very local vegetable market in the Cerro Concepcion neighborhood.1-IMG_3804.JPG

We have a nice, and very large lunch...Lunch is the big meal of the day here. We thought the vegetable lasagna was the main, but it was the appetizer followed by the chicken breast with vegetables.1-IMG_3821.JPG


The ending was the usual finely chopped fresh fruit topped with just a bit of whipped cream.

Tomorrow we fly to Puerto Montt and visit a bit of Chile's Patagonia.

Edited by JTravel (log)
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Can't be sure, the recipe from cooking class specified barley, others online say barley or wheat berries. I didn't think it was corn, seems like it was longer...though it certainly looks quiet yellow in this picture. 1-IMG_3721cr.jpg

I finally found some dried peaches, a gourmet item found only in health food stores here. I have them soaking and will give it a try with my cooked pearled barley. Should be tasty anyway...I loved what I tried. Any advice would be welcome.

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We flew south from Santiago to Puerto Montt, on the coast, and we stayed a few miles away in the town of Puerto Varas. Our room faced the lake but it cloudy and rainy so no volcanos were sighted.

In late afternoon we headed into the countryside to attend a Chilean Rodeo demonstration and show. It was much more interesting than I'd expected. Of course there were gorgeous (and very valuable) horses, trained to walk sideways so they can pin the bull against the wall and win points. It's the most popular sport in Chile according to our guide. It was on t.v. a lot.

The family had built a "party hall" in which to entertain their guests and celebrate their rodeo victories. It also serves as a private restaurant for parties and tour groups.

We had a nice meal of home cooked and tasty food.

Started with a rather plain tomato soup, those who had the chicken soup said it was delicious.


There was a buffet with a rice dish...love the "piggy" bowl.


It included a good salad...lots of tomatoes in February...and very good roast beef and mashed potatoes.


Dessert was a rich flan.


A very nice evening.

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OK, name this meal. It's breakfast of course. This is just a part of the buffet at the Bella Vista Hotel in Puerto Varas. Lots of German influence. There were all kinds of cakes, the popular local favorite lemon pie, and the ever present Alfajores cookies with Manjar (Dulce de Leche other places) inside and rolled in coconut. Bar cookies with cherries were good...everything was good.

Several kinds of fresh juices available, I had the raspberry...delicious.

Sugar overload for sure. I think there were eggs...

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