Category Archives: Food

Fuente Mardoqueo: Best sánguches in town

The search is over. I’ve found the perfect chacarero!

cacharero, Fuente Mardoqueo, sánguche

The perfect Chacarero: tasty beef topped with fresh tomato, crisp green beans, and a touch of green chili

I am admittedly not the world’s biggest sandwich fan…and them’s fightin’ words in Chile.  Chileans love—and passionately defend—their beloved sánguches. So I’m here to call a truce. And while I’m not likely to ever get up much enthusiasm for the basic avocado- and mayo-smeared ham & cheese, there are other Chilean sandwich combinations that are pretty hard to resist. Make mine a chacarero, a super sánguche whose special defining feature is a big pile of green beans. Yep, that’s right, green beans. Who knew?

Fuente MardoqueoFuente Mardoqueo, half a block from the Plaza Yungay, is one of those word-of-mouth type places—a true picada—and it had been on our radar for a while. Continue reading

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Foolproof Chilean Beef Empanada de Horno

Sonia Rodríguez de Hofstadt of El Toque Gourmet

Caterer and cooking teacher Sonia Rodríguez de Hofstadt, of El Toque Gourmet

Two recent posts about empanadas, here and on Cachando Chile, have produced a flurry of requests for a recipe for those who cannot just pop over to the neighborhood empanada shop. Chilean caterer and cooking teacher extraordinaire, Sonia Rodríguez de Hoftstadt kindly offered to share her foolproof, no-fail recipe for Empanadas de Horno–de pino (beef)–of course!

Sonia is truly a woman of the world, the daughter and wife of diplomats, she has spent much of her life abroad, lived in 9 different countries, and speaks 5 languages. She was trained as a simultaneous interpreter and finally turned to her true passion: food from around the world. She teaches and caters through her company “El Toque Gourmet,” and is currently working on a book of the same title. Her specialties include (but certainly not limited to!) Asian Cooking, Mediterranean and European Food, American Desserts, and Chilean Asados.

You can contact Sonia at: hofstadt (a) manquehue.net
See more of what she’s up to here: El Toque Gourmet and Classes for Children

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for….The Recipe! Continue reading

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September: Empanada Time

Truth be told, it’s always empanada time in Chile, but September—the month of Chilenidad—would not be complete without endless rounds of empanadas. These savory stuffed turnover (my brother calls them Hot Pockets) originally crossed the Atlantic with the Spanish some 500 years ago and are now found throughout Latin America. Each culture has its own versions, and I’m sure people from other countries get just as serious about their versions as Chileans do about theirs.

While Chilean empanadas come in all sorts of baked and fried shapes, sizes, and fillings, in September, the only empanada that counts is the most traditional of all: the empanada de pino del horno: a baked beef-stuffed meat turn-over, considered best when they emerge hot from a rounded adobe oven  that dot the countryside in Central Chile.

Read on for more on empanadas and a list of the 21 top places in Santiago to find them! Continue reading

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Just Say NO to Crispy Wine

¿Vino quebradizo?

Chilean Spanish uses lots of words borrowed from other languages, especially English, and, not being a purist, I generally have no problem with that—why would I? English is full of “borrowisms.”

But when it comes to “winespeak,” there’s one misused crossover that drives me up the wall. Wine is not, cannot, and never will be “crispy.” And I’ll tell ya why… Continue reading

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MOVI wins Vitivinicultural Initiative of the Year Award

By Margaret Snook

What a great night!
Chile’s Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicas (Chilean Circle of Food & Wine Writers) held its annual awards ceremony last night to deliver its awards to those who rock Chile’s food & wine world. (See my write-up and the complete list of winners at Cachando Chile).

MOVI members, winners of the 2009 Viticultural Initiative of the Year Award, March 30, 2010 (Photo (c) MSnook)

As a member of this group, I had the right—and tremendous honor—of presenting an award to a group of innovative winemakers, several of whom I am proud to include among my friends (and not just on Facebook!).

I was very pleased to present the Iniciativa Vitivinícola del Año (Vitivinicultural Initiative Award) to MOVI, the Movimiento de Viñateros Independientes (Independent Vintners Movement). Continue reading

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