Rules for eating in Chilean restaurants

1. Order the avocado (“palta,” not “aguacate“) whenever you can.
2. Order crab, in any manifestation possible, whenever you can. There is nothing you should prefer over the crab.
3. Scallops are next in the hierarchy. The sea urchin is quite good if you like it.
4. The fish is of excellent quality but the preparations are usually boring. The greater the number of sauces you are offered, the less likely you should take any of them.
5. Fear not the mayonnaise. It is good. Really.
6. Parmesan cheese on either clams or scallops is excellent.
7. If you can, try a ham and cheese sandwich, roast beef, figs, mashed potatoes, vanilla ice cream, honey, butter, and the juices.
8. Provided you obey these rules, do not be put off by simple-sounding menus.
9. The overall quality of the food is very high, but the very best restaurants are not much better than the good restaurants. This is often the case in areas with excellent natural ingredients, as human labor becomes a less important input.
10. A subtle blending of Chilean and Peruvian food is occurring in Santiago; the Peruvian restaurants by the way are first-rate.
First posted on Marginal Revolution.

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2 Responses to Rules for eating in Chilean restaurants

  1. Mary says:

    Could not agree with you more on Chilean food. The simplest things are clearly the best. Makes sense that Peruvian food would be the next food trend to hit Santiago; many middle class Chileans are getting Peruvian-style food at home these days from their housemaids. Just be careful of the manjar; the stuff is tooth-achingly sweet, but Chileans eat it practically like it’s chocolate pudding.

  2. Maureen says:

    You are absolutely correct on #6. I had machas a la parmesana several times while in Santiago last week. Fantastic! Also ate them while in southern Chile in the lake district (Pucon) – even better. Highly recommend!
    Lucuma-Manjar ice cream will creep into your taste buds and cravings will come on forever!

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