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>International Cuisine: Foods of Chile

Posted on May 12, 2010 by Glutenfreeda

>A friend of mine has been traveling to Chile for business and once a month as we catch up on each other’s lives, he tells the tale of a far off sliver of a country, complete with majestic mountain peaks, fertile farm land, spectacular horse ranches and grapes as far as the eye can see. I find myself becoming ever more enchanted with each conversation.

So naturally, when we we’re exploring the possibilities for our monthly International Cuisine feature, it had to be Chile.

Chile cradles the southwest end of South America, and boasts a varied terrain with a wide range of climates from dry deserts to the chilling peaks of the Andes to the Pacific’s Mediterranean ocean breezes. This combination of diverse climates and environments provides an extraordinary array of fish, meats, fruits and vegetables.

Today’s Chilean cuisine is a combination of old and new world recipes that reflect the influence of the Spaniards, Castilians, Andalusians and Basques as well as today’s more modern preparations. Typical Chilean cuisine is simple, straight- forward, wholesome and is cooked in home-style fashion.

The people of Chile take dining very seriously. A typical day begins with a continental style breakfast, Desayuno and is followed by lunch, Almuerzo, which is the main meal of the day. Dinner or supper, called, Cena, is typically a light meal served around 9pm.

Chilean food can be spicy and is usually very flavorful. Many herbs and spices enhance Chilean cooking like paprika, garlic, cilantro, parsley, oregano, sweet basil, thyme, mint, pepper, cumin, saffron, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.

Sample Chilean cuisine in your own kitchen this month with ‘Lentil and Chorizo Soup’, a delicious soup with just the right amount of spice; or our not so traditional version of stuffed flank steak with ‘Mozzarella Stuffed Flank with Chilean Rub’, this entree is full of flavor and cooks in just minutes. For a great side or main dish try ‘Lentils with Rice and Sausage’, filling, satisfying and good for the soul. And for a different and low-fat dessert try ‘Honey Flavored Meringue’, this sweet nothing will literally melt in your mouth.

We hope you enjoy these recipes and that they will inspire you to do your own exploring into the foods and kitchens of Chile.

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