by Emily Ullmann
Poor college students we may be, but the Globalist has a knack for keeping our stomachs satisfied with the best that a city has to offer. Margaret gave a glimpse of the culinary delights we had devoured in the first few days, but 6 days, 20 meals (really, who’s counting?), and infinite snacks later, here’s a deeper look into the fuel that’s kept us going at the high pace necessary for a Globalist reporting trip.
Pino, queso y champiñones, neopolitano–Empanadas make the perfect breakfast on the go, mid-day snack, or hors d’oeuvres. Chilean empanadas are known for their soft, slightly sweet dough folded into a fluffy half circle, stuffed with a rich meaty or gooey (depending on whether you’re a carnivore or herbivore) center. Empanadas are served hot, so as you take your first bite, the steam billows out into your mouth and the dough seems to melt into your mouth. Though we’ve tasted a few great ones, the best have definitely been those prepared by Diego’s mom. (If you’re reading this, muchas gracias por sus empanadas deliciosas).
Sandwiches and Completos:
In Chile a sandwich is two slices of mantequerra bread squishing together a heaping pile of dripping beef or pork loin, mashed avocados, tomatoes, and creamy mayonnaise. For those of us with human-sized mouths, using a fork and knife is the only option. These sandwiches are neither spicy nor salty, but the meat juice and avocados provides a rich, fatty wonderfulness. Completos are hotdogs with all the works, aka mayo, avocados, tomatoes, and a sort of relish. One does not simply eat a completo; instead, one must attack it. Otherwise more topping will end up on your face and lap than in your mouth. Which would be a total waste of taste.
Fruit and Avocado:
Las frutas y las paltas de Chile son increíbles. Fruit in Chile is cheap and fresh. Large crisp gala apples, grapes that pop with juiciness, and avocados. Oh, the avocados. Avocados here are unlike any I’ve ever tasted before. Soft to the point of being spreadable, rich and filling without being too heavy, we’ve been eating them in slices or as a spreadable sandwich topping. Avocados are served on everything, from breads to salads to completos (Chilean hotdogs). The Globalist avocado per capita consumption rate is probably about 3 per day, with no signs of slowing down.
Pisco and Wine:
Alcohol, namely pisco and wine, is a huge part of Chilean culture and economy. As such, we’ve been tasting both on a regular basis–for research purposes, of course. Pisco is a sweet grape brandy usually served in a Pisco Sour (Pisco with lime and sugar) or a Piscola (Pisco and Cola). Pisco Sour is more of a cocktail, a celebratory drink when arriving at a Chilean bar at say midnight, in which case you might be the first to arrive. Piscola is easy to make and easy to drink, a favorite of college students–or so our reporting and evening interviews with Chilean students would lead us to believe. Chilean wine is known for great quality at a value price, which is exactly what we’ve found thus far. The dry, sweet Sauvignon Blancs are fantastic, but so are the famous Pinot Noirs. So used to surviving on a steady diet of Dubra and Keystone, we’ll find it that much harder to return to the U.S.
No, gelato is NOT Chilean. But it’s just soo rich, creamy, and smooth. There are two places within a block of our hostel, which has been great for moral and overall happiness. We’ll just forget about what that means in terms of diets…With about 10 different dulce de leche-based flavors, as well as chocolate, mango, cinnamon, and even rose water, gelato has found a permanent spot in our daily schedules.
Tomorrow the groups split up, with one courageous crew heading west to Valparaíso and one gallant group heading north to Antofagasta. The Valpo group is eagerly waiting to reach the Jewel of the Pacific, a port town known for its fresh fish and the Anto group knows that Diego would never lead them to a place free from fantastic food. With open minds and ever-expanding bellies, we take on the next challenges the GloTrip has to offer.