stayed at Termas Puyehue Wellness
& Spa Resort, a natural sanctuary of
beautiful forests, rivers and lakes, with
great food and hospitality.
Back in Santiago, we visited Culinary,
a culinary school. There, chef Juan
Pablo Mellado Arana introduced us
to a wild cactus fruit known as copao,
or “eulychnia acida,” which is acidic
and has a similar texture to kiwifruit.
It is almost unknown, but has great
defining chilean cuisine
When I asked Jeffrey Anderson, chef
and director of culinary innovation at
Phoenix-based Safeway Inc., what his
experience was like during our stay
in Chile, he said the cuisine of Chile
is not easily described, but that it is
effortlessly enjoyed. Ingredients take
center stage and are often featured
in the simplest manner. Meats are
cooked to perfection over an open
flame. Fish is abundant, fresh and
flavorful. Ripe vegetables, harvested in
season, are easy to enjoy. There are no
hothouse tomatoes here; instead, they
are mouthwatering and summer-ripe,
soft to the touch and ready to eat. The
did you know?
Chile is a narrow strip
of land, 2,700 miles long
on south America’s
The country shares
borders with Argentina,
Bolivia and peru.
The country’s population
(July 2010 estimate)
Chile is slightly smaller
than twice the size of
The official language of
Chile is spanish.
The country’s currency
is the Chilean peso.
Chile offers a wide range
of temperatures, with
desert in the north,
Chile is the primary
wintertime source (more
than 95 percent) of fresh
grapes for the U.s. and
salsa-like garnish known as pebre takes
advantage of the summer’s harvest
and is on every table, providing a great
accompaniment to any meal.
But best of all, Anderson says,
are Chilean fruits, especially the
blueberries, picked fresh from the
shrub. The Legacy variety is succulent
and sweet, almost like candy. Other
fruit memories that still linger with
Anderson are the smell of peaches
and nectarines bursting with flavor
that urge you to make a cobbler or
shortcake with rich whipped cream.
I learned so much about Chile’s
cuisine and fresh fruit industry during
my short visit. Chile’s impact on global
cuisine is obvious. Its agricultural
products have been, and will be, a
household mainstay for many
centuries to come.
Sources: The World Factbook by the
Central Intelligence Agency; Chilean
Fresh Fruit Association
Klaus tenbergen, ed.D., cepc, cmB,
asBpB, mcfe, is the culinology® program
director and an assistant professor in the
Department of food science and nutrition
at california state university, fresno, calif.