Living in Chile is one of the best things I have done in my life. One of the great things about it is being able to experience new things, like food. Nowadays I am more or less used to the diet, but I still find that I have some run-ins with some challenges when it comes to cooking chilean style.
For me, cooking here in Chile is an adventure every time. I have to look up a recipe, convert the measurements into metric units, translate all of the ingredients, and then see if they have what I need in the supermarket, or if I can afford it. (Some things that are super common in the US are not here, therefore: pricey!!) The way I was raised, we pretty much cooked with most of our ingredients coming out of cans. Canned corn, chili, sauce, etc. Here, I don’t think I have ever seen a can opener. Things are made from scratch on a regular basis.
Alright, I can handle that. I’ve cooked from scratch from time to time. The problem is that every time I think of something I really want to make, it is a project. Between finding a recipe that makes everything from scratch, translation, shopping, preparation, and the fact that I usually have to cook for 6 people or more…I am not the one who ends up cooking very often.
It’s a bummer for me because when I was living in the US, I cooked all of my meals. Granted, most of them came from packages and the freezer, but at least I felt like I was doing something. Cooking every single thing from scratch has been hard for a freshly graduated college kid that lived off of frozen pizza and packaged dinners, but I am growing more accustomed to it every day. As I practice and people gain confidence in my cooking, I am progressively allowed into the kitchen more often to experiment. The AllRecipes website has been my best friend. They magically convert the measurements for you into metric and calculate the recipe for however many servings you need.
Recently, I have had quite a few trials in cooking, and they have inspired me. I have decided to do a series on the Chilean food culture. There are a lot of major differences from most Latin American countries in what is consumed, and even in how things are prepared. They also have some pretty interesting products and snacks that deserve a little spotlight. I will be going over culture, vocabulary, recipes, the whole nine yards.
Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I delve into the Chilean Kitchen.
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