Prepared Food Focus: The Flavors of Chile

Prepared Food Focus: The Flavors of Chile

Familiarize your customers with this country’s indigenous and distinct ingredients with these three recipes.

by Joanna Pruess

Chile’s rich and varied terrain, along with its multicultural historic background, produces ingredients and foods that are distinct and, thanks to strong governmental control, high quality. Throughout this long sliver of a country, indigenous and newly imported products have comingled to become creative and tasty foods.

Mote, for example, is a generic term that refers to boiled ancient cereal grains, such as barley or quinoa. Its versatility—whether made savory or sweet—is exemplified in mote con huesillos, a beloved dessert recipe of cooked barley and dried peaches in caramel syrup.

Chile exports an impressive array of fruits—with numbers growing—around the world, including kiwis, berries, apples and grapes. In cheesecake de manjar, sauteed apple slices make a tangy-sweet topping for caramel-like manjar, Chile’s version of dulce de leche.

The most common Chilean wines are Merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carménère—a grape originally brought to the New World by the French from Bordeaux. When reduced to a thick sauce, this deep red wine heightens gratineed sea bass fillets.

Production of extra-virgin olive oil is a relatively new endeavor in Chile. According to ChileOliva, an organization of local producers, Chile is projected to produce 35,000 tons of oil by 2015, up from just 1,000 tons in 2003. Like the wines, proud Chileans boast of tasting their terroir in the oil.

Try the Recipes:


Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK FERRI; FOOD STYLED BY AJ BATTIFARANO; PROPS STYLED
BY FRAN MATALON-DEGNI NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS BY LAUREN BRAUN, NUTRITIONAL
LIFESTYLE DESIGNS, MIAMI, FL