Some new posts
A little over a year ago I ran out of topics and enthusiasm and Eating Chilean went into hibernation. But a few things came up that seemed like they would be interesting and so here we go again.
Has Eating Chilean reached its last post?
Maybe. After three years and 69 posts the well has almost run dry. Having covered Chilean foods from ají (chilies) to zapallo (squash) and from 12,000 BC to the "New Chilean Cuisine" there's not much more that my curiosity insists that I learn about. And of course learning about Chilean food was the reason for starting the blog in the first place; after 25 years in the classroom I knew that to learn I need to write.
Who knew that this blog would prove to be interesting to others? I was excited to find that the first month after installing a hit counter (Statcounter) in August 2009 I had received over 500 visitors, and having reached a total of over 100,000 visits by this March seems quite remarkable. And the 180 or so comments and dozens of letters I've received have been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks for letting me know what you think.
Aug 2009-April 2012
The ten most populat posts have been:
10. Chilean Cheese
As you would expect the largest number of readers come from the US, followed by Chile, and then the other English speaking countries, Brazil and Argentina. But they come from all over the world. This is a current visitor map:
The 200 most recent visits.
So... thanks for reading. I'll continue responding to your comments and mail and may even add a post or two, but for now Eating Chilean has cleaned its plate and has headed to the terrace for a whiskey and cigar.
The LA Times reports that:
Copper-hued merkén, which is made of ground goat's horn chile, helps kick everything from stews to hot chocolate up a notch. The complex import is now popping up in the U.S.
And surprisingly, the Times even found a Santiago restaurateur who knew all about it:
Claudio Soto, owner of Santiago's oldest restaurant, Confitería Torres: "Recently, there's been a return to our culinary culture," says Soto. "Within the past 15 to 20 years, merkén has become popular, and within the past seven to eight, it's become incredibly popular. They sell it everywhere; they use it everywhere. It's basic. Anything you want to make, you start with merkén."
Merken. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times / July 13, 2011)
Well, perhaps Don Claudio hasn't visited that merkén-free zone that includes 98% of Santiago restaurants, but it's a good sign that a little picante is returning to Chile after a century's absence.
A Power Point summary of The Chilean National Food Consumption Survey of 2010-2011 (Encuesta Nacional de Consumo de Alimentos 2010-201) has been released to the public, although it will be another two weeks before the full survey data is released. If you read my 2010 post "What Chileans Eat: The Chilean National Diet" you won't find too many surprises, but it's good to have more recent data.
Men are reported to average 2210 calories per day and 73 grams of protein while women average 1561 calories and 52 grams of protein.
People eating over 110% of their recommended caloric intake include:
16% of urban and 28% of rural people,
12% of people in the top socioeconomic category and 31% of those in the lowest,
29% of children 4 to 5 years old, 27% of girls 14 to 18, 23% of women 19 to 30,
6% of men 19 to 30 and 25% of men 31 to 50.
Chilean meal patters are:
breakfast, eaten by 90% of the population at between 8:00 and 10:00
almuerzo ("lunch," the main meal of the day) eaten by 96% at between 1:00 and 2:00 pm
onces ("tea") eaten by 82% of the population at 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
Cena ("supper")is eaten by only 30% of the population at between 8:00 and 10:00, but another 31% have an evening "snack" (colación) at that hour.
Little by little, I'm publishing the most popular posts from Eating Chilean in Spanish at Historia, Cultura y Comida Chilena. About a quarter of my readers are from Latin America and some friends and family have found the English version a bit of a struggle -- the writing of ex-professors can be a bit turgid. My Spanish is hardly up to the task, but my brother in law Germán is editing them, so they should be readable.
Globalization strikes again, but this time it's not salt-sugar-and-grease loaded fast food, but honest bagels made in a family operated bakery, Montreal Bagels in Ñuñoa,
These are Montreal style, similar to New York bagels but a touch sweeter as they are boiled in water sweetened with a little honey before baking. (NY bagels are boiled in plain water.)
And they are great. Chewy and dense, slightly sweet and with a nice crunch when toasted. Their handout, at left, explains why, along with the address and phone numbers (click on picture to enlarge).
For more and some pictures of the shop, see Bearshapedsphere
**************Old new stuff:
Back in December "Hot Chile with Steve" interviewed me on I love Chile Radio. Here's a pod cast of the session:
Obama Eats Chilean
On the evening of March 21,
Chile’s President Piñera gave a dinner for the Obamas (and 300 of Chile’s political and business elites) in La Moneda, ’s presidential palace. The menu wasn’t made public, but caterer Sofia Jottar explained that it would be a four course menu with products selected from each region of Chile: oysters of Chiloé; salmon from the Aysén Region; sea urchins, oysters and locos (Chilean abalone) from Tongoy; wagyu beef (a Japanese breed) from Osorno; lamb and king crab from Magallanes; tuna from Easter Island and papayas and chirimoyas from La Serena. Unique dishes created for the occasion included "Oyster cappuccino" and a desert called “Postre Criollo” (creole desset) of picarones (pumpkin donuts), leche Chile (meringue and custard) and cherimoya with orange juice. nevada
Wines included two from Viña Chocalán, a 2009 Pinot Noir Gran Reserva, and a 2009 Chardonnay Chocalán Malvilla; and two from Viña Montes, a 2009 Montes Alpha Carmenere and a Late Harvest of Gewürztraminer and Riesling to accompany the desert. (source: Publimetro)
I’d have to give them a demerit for the obligatory Chilean farmed salmon (Science Magazine says it’s toxic, Safeway stopped buying it because of Infectious Salmon Anemia, and it’s on the Seafood Watch “Avoid” list), but a plus for the Patagonian lamb, Chile’s least favorite meat (more horse is eaten in Chile than lamb). Maybe it will encourage more Chileans to eat it.