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