Just got back from a long weekend on an island near Valdivia, in the Lakes Region of Chile. I stayed on a small island called Isla Del Rey which was about 30 mins from the city of Valdivia in boat and car. The food I ate was incredible.
All of the food I ate (for the most part) was homemade, but included many regional specialties. Since we were on the coast, this obviously included fish. Among the things I ate were fried fish (i am not sure what type, though I ate 5 of them, they werent TOO big), pastel de papas (which is similar to Shepherd´s Pie), empanadas de mariscos, mote con huesillos (barley in peach juice with dried peach), homemade bread, homemade membrillo and apple jam, potato pancakes (which were JUST like latkes, this dish is popular in Valdivia because of the German influence i think??), and finally, SO MANY MUSSELS!!!
4 friends from the U.S. and I were down there with a number of Chileans, and the house was very rustic, so we had a fire every night, which for us meant s´mores. One of the nights, we spent an hour making smores, introducing the food to the chileans who were with us. Then a large pot of mussels was also put into the fire place, and we ate steamed mussels after the smores. They make a kind of nice combination. Who knew?? The next day we ate even more mussels, and more mussels. YUM.
One afternoon we went to explore the city of Valdivia, and a necessary stop was Entrelagos, a homemade chocolate store. Chocolates are a specialty of the region also due to German influence, and boy oh boy, they were good. I bought about 6 chocolates for myself and began eating them when I noticed there was a whole other shelf of chocolates that I hadn´t seen. There was one with chocolate butter cream inside which I could not resist, so I made a second purchase. It was then that I realized I needed to leave the store before I bought everything.
Next we went to a restaraurant to try Carne Cruda, which is a piece of white bread topped with raw beef and onions. On top you can put some tartar sauce. This was my first raw beef experience, and it was okay, though I didn´t think it was so special. But if you like carne cruda, this is the city to visit!
Now I am back in Santiago, eating happily too. There´s lots of good stuff to eat in Chile, in my other post today I wrote more about favorites in Santiago. It´s further down the list in response to a question about Argentina and Chile...
Chau y Chow from Chile,