Most meals in Chile consist of chicken, beef or seafood, which is served with rice or french fries and sometimes a salad. Specialities include 'cazuela de ave' which is a tasty chicken stew with potatoes, rice, onions with green peppers, 'pastel de choclo' which is a casserole of beef with a maize mash baked in an earthenware bowl and 'caldillo de congrio', which is a soup with large pieces of fish with onions and potato. Mixed grills (parillada) are also very popular in Chile, either seafood grills (parillada de mariscos) or grilled meats, offal and intestines are served in a miniature BBQ on your table.
Vegetarian options are often limited in Chile especially in smaller towns and remote areas. However, there are usually a few meat-free bits and bobs available such as empanadas with cheese and milcaos, which are a type of potato cake. For those interested in fish, seek out some ceviche, a dish consisting of raw fish that has been marinated in citrus (either lemon or lime) and served with onions, garlic and cilantro.
Chile is renowned for its fabulous wine, which can cost from as little as $1.50 a bottle. Pisco is also popular, which is a brandy which packs a punch.
Safe eating while travelling in Chile
Chileans are well used to preparing meat thanks to their flesh-filled cuisine so, generally speaking, meat will be safe to eat and cooked properly. Salads and fruit are fine to eat, even if they have been washed, but only in big cities. In more remote places, avoid anything that could have been washed as the water here isn’t drinkable. As always, if food doesn’t look or smell right, or might have been left out in the sun for too long then stay away from it.