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Chiloé: Typical foods
Country folk in Chiloé produce almost all that they need. This has resulted in a strong local gastronomic tradition both in the style of cooking and the ingredients. Town people depend upon the grocery store are more affected by market forces than country dwellers. Whether from the town or country Chilotes are proud of their culinary traditions.
No matter how poor the family, four dishes at lunch is not unusual. The Chilote likes to eat well.
A pair of milcaos often accompanies a coffee break. These potato buns greatly surprise strangers with their colour of lead and the greasy chicharrones within that can give a stomach-ache to the unwary. Just because it is good food to the Chilotes does not mean that everyone will share this opinion.
In the last decade the Chilotes have eaten less. Perhaps because there are now other amusements to draw them away from the kitchen table and because with a refrigerator the pig no longer has to be eaten directly after the slaughter. The lack of refrigeration engendered the tradition of always sharing fresh meat amongst family and friends. Chilotes say "why be a king when with you can sleep well and have all the food that garden and pigpen can produce". What does it matter if they don't have rice, sugar and noodles?
Today, in the footsteps of their ancestors, Chilotes base their diet on potatoes, meat and sea produce. Restaurants serve much the same food, perhaps less plentiful, but better presented. Since the arrival of the salmon industry in 1990, that fish has become a major food item taking the place of the local "Sierra".
Potatoes, as a staple are found in combination with most other foods but are often eaten with a little butter, baked in the oven or in glowing embers or around the hearth. That is to say nothing of mashed potatoes or chips. The culture of potatoes is so strong that no table would be complete without them.


1 kilo of potatoes
1 ½ kilos of flour
Spoonful of lard
1 cup of pork crackling (chicharrones)
Salt to taste

Mash the potatoes, mix in the lard, salt and chicharrones, knead and shape into Chapaleles (shaped like a flattened ball) which are cooked with a Curanto.


1 almud of potatoes (about 5 kg)
1 cup of chicharrones
2 cups of lard
Salt to taste
2 kilos of cooked potatoes

The potatoes are grated and then squeezed to remove the juice. All the other ingredients are well mixed with the grated potato. The dough is formed into flattened balls, deep-fried and can be further cooked in a Curanto or eaten as they are.


1 kg. Almejas (large clams)
1 kg. Cholgas (large mussels)
1 piece of piure (a local, strongly flavoured, shellfish)
Juice of 4-6 lemons
2 spoons of oil
Pepper to taste
Pinch of Parsley

Shell the cooked seafood and mix in a pot with the remaining ingredients. Then serve in clay bowls.


4 cups of flour
3 spoons of lard
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of yeast activated in ½ cup of warm water

Put the flour in a bowl, making a hole in the centre into which are placed the lard, eggs, activated yeast and salt or sugar according to taste. Mix, adding more water as necessary, knead well to form a smooth dough, roll out and cut into sopaipillas. Fry in well heated oil.


1 almud of potatoes (5 kg)
1 kg cooked potatoes
Salt to taste
1 cup of chicharrones
2 spoonfuls of lard
2 spoonfuls of butter

After washing and peeling, grate and squeeze out the juice of the raw potatoes then mix with the cooked, mashed, potatoes. Knead in the lard, chicharrones and salt. Spread the dough over a straight branch (of luma) a meter long by 10 cm in diameter. Cook over an open fire in the same manner as a spit roast. Spread with butter to serve.


1 ½ kilo of flour
400 gr lard or butter
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of cold milk.

24 medium apples, peeled and chopped
1 spoonful of sugar per empanada
Powdered cinnamon
1 dab of butter per empanada

Sieve the flour, add salt and butter and mix dry, then add the milk forming a dough that will not stick to the hands.
Divide the dough into 24 portions, roll out and put some chopped apple, sugar, butter and cinnamon on each one. Fold over and seal the edges.
Cook for 20 minutes in a moderate oven.


12 pieces of mutton backbone (1 ½ kg)
Seasoning: oregano, chopped parsley
2 carrots
1 bowl of fresh yellow peas
1 bowl of chopped green beans
½ cup of rice
12 potatoes
Small bunch of chopped seaweed (obtained from the feria or mercado)

Fry the meat with salt and garlic then add 4 litres of boiling water. Add and boil all the remaining ingredients. Before serving sprinkle with chopped parsley.


10 large mussels
10 piures (obtained from the fish market)
1 small cabbage
1 large carrot
1 cup of peas or beans
¼ kilo of pumpkin
1 tablespoonful of rice
Pinch of pepper
2 cloves of garlic
½ small onion
½ spoonful of lard
Oregano, parsley and salt

Chop the onion and garlic and fry in the lard, adding salt and pepper. Add the shellfish and half a litre of water and boil for 10 minutes. Now add the carrot and pumpkin and boil for a further 5 minutes before adding the potatoes, cabbage, beans and rice and another half a litre of water. Boil for a further 20 minutes. Before serving add the oregano and parsley.

CURANTO EN OLLA, (Curanto cooked in a pan) 12 personas

1 large stew pot
2kg clams
2 kg large mussels
2 kg small mussels
12 large potatoes
2 kg peas or beans
½ kilo longaniza (spicy sausage)
1 ½ kilo bacon
½ kilo de cheese
½ cup of water
½ cup of white wine
"Coles" leaves (suitable non-toxic leaves to separate the layers, cabbage would do)
onion cut into wedges
hapaleles and milcaos

Place the scrubbed shellfish in the pot; add the water, wine and onion pieces. Next make a layer of cleaned potatoes with their skins intact, then pieces of meat and a small bowl of cheese. Cover with a layer of leaves upon which are placed the milcaos, then another layer of leaves for the Chapaleles and then a final covering of leaves. Seal the pot tightly and once boiling, simmer for an hour over a moderate heat.

Accesos a Chiloé
Historia de Chiloé
Mitología de Chiloé
Arquitectura de Chiloé
Listado de establecimientos
Listado de establecimientos
Costumbres de Chiloé
Platos típicos de la gastronomía local
Artesanía de la Isla
Estadísticas y datos geográficos
Flora y Fauna de Chiloé
Muestra musical en formato MP3

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