Glossary of Chilean Cuisine

Got an epicurean curiosity about the gastronomic wonders of Chilean cuisine? Here’s a start on your road to becoming a Chilean gastronome, a true “sibarita.”

This glossary will soon appear as a constant at the top of the page and will be updated regularly, so check back frequently!

Asado (ah-SAH-do): Chilean barbecue, more aptly referred to as a meat fest. No hot dogs or hamburgers allowed.

Barros Jarpa (BAH-rros HAR-pa): Hot ham & cheese sandwich.

Barros Luco (BAH-rrohs LOO-ko): Hot beef and cheese sandwich.

Cachaça (kah-CHAH-sa): Brazilian distilled spirit used for making caipirinhas. Popular in Chile.

Caipirinha (ky-peer-EEN-yah): Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça and limes. Refreshing and popular in Chile.

Casera (kah-SAIR-ah): (1) Homemade, as in mermelada casera (homemade jam) or (2) a friendly term used by vendors in the feria to refer to their female customers.

Chela (CHEL-lah): Slang for beer.

Choclo (CHO-klo): Corn for human consumption. Animals eat maíz. The choclo commonly found in Chile is very large with thick kernels, similar to what is called “field corn” in the US.

Cola de Mono (CO-la day MO-no): Alcoholic milk based punch typically served cold at Christmas time.

Completo (kuhm-PLEH-to): Chilean style hot dog loaded with ketchup, mustard, relish, chopped tomato, sauerkraut, pickled green chili pepper, mashed avocado, and mayonnaise.

Empanada (ehm-pah-NAH-da): Typical dish of Spanish origin and a favorite in Chile, especially for Independence Day celebrations (September 18), asados, Sunday dinners, or snacks. They are made of fried or baked dough stuffed most commonly with pino (ground meat mixture) or cheese, but have many variations, such as marisco (shellfish) and others.

For the complete glossary, see the Culinary Glossary above.

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