Pizzas, hotdogs, and pasta...in Chile?!
A local women selling herbs and beans and vegetables.
I'd like to make a blog about FOOD. I don't just love food, I'm IN love with food. Being in Chile for 2 weeks though, I realized that I didn't crave that much american food. Sure, there's no refrigerated milk, but on the whole, I was pretty satisfied with the food I had in Chile.
During the two weeks that we were there, I was hoping to try out authentic Chilean food. Surprisingly, it was actually quite hard. Empanadas (stuffed bread more or less) were everywhere, and every other meal consisted of an empanada for the last two weeks, but we were only able to eat good authentic Chilean food a handful of times. One dish in particular that I really enjoyed was "Pastel de Choclo" which consists of ground meats topped with a crust of sweet corn and cornmeal. If you look it up on Google, pictures do not do it justice. The sweetness of the caramelized corn dough compliments the savoriness of the ground meats hidden at the bottom. It's a perfect blend of sweet and savory that made my taste buds jump for joy. It reminded me of a Spanish Shepard's Pie since the dish was in layers.
I didn't really crave american food since a lot of the foods that you'd see in America were also in Chile. Hotdogs, pizzas, KFC, McDonalds, and many other fast food places were abundant even in the most rural areas. The condiments on a hotdog were not just mustard and ketchup, it consisted of a thick layer of guacamole and a giant helping of mayonnaise. A lot of burger joints were seen in the malls and along the streets as well. Again, these burgers were topped with a heavy heaping of mayonnaise, bacon, and guacamole. Every food item had a side of fries as a meal. I couldn't escape fried foods. The amount of trans fats and calories made me worry that I'd gain a ton of weight during these two weeks (luckily I didn't).
With all of these fast foods that could be bought at a cheap price, it raised my concerns of obesity in Chile. Surveying the street, I'd safely assume that most Chileans looked fit. A lot of people were biking and walking around. No one seemed overweight, but with all of these fast and fried foods, I'm sure that the rate of obesity will slowly increase as the years progress. With the increase of obesity comes complications such as heart problems, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. After doing some research, I noticed that Forbes voted Chile to be the 23rd most obese country in 2007. We did see some actions done by the government that promoted healthy living. On our way to a beach in Constitucion, there was a public gym that had an elliptical and various exercising machines that was out in the open.
I wanted to try out more Chilean food, but with the copious amounts of fast foods, and difficulty of finding a nice chilean restaurant, we resorted to eating pizzas and emapanadas. Every restaurant that we've been to also has a large selection of italian pastas! All in all, it my stomach was pretty satisfied. I still craved my biweekly helping of sushi, and there were a lot of sushi shops around, but I didn't want to risk getting an upset stomach while on the trip!
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