Spread: The Importance Of Bread In Chilean Culture

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“… the bread comes to be the measure of everything related to the business of living, it is a measure both material and mysterious; it measures scarcity and prosperity, the happiness and sorrow of humanity... appetite for bread unifies human beings as much as breathing and our flowing blood”, says the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral in her book Elogio de las cosas de la tierra about the fundamental importance of bread in Chilean culture, economics, and diet (cited by Montecino Aguirre, 2004: 19). Indeed, Chileans love bread. They consume around 100 kilograms of bread per capita, yearly. Chile is among the three countries that eat the most bread in the world, second behind France. Chicken and beer are also important on Chilean table. Although Chile has 8,000 kilometers of coastline and a rich variety of seafood, the average consumption of fish is only around 13 kilograms per…show more content…
Cazuela means the dish and the cauldron in which is prepared. It is a soup with vegetables, some sort of meat (cow, chicken, or pork), and corn, all of them chopped (Merino, 2010, see especially Chapter 1 about soups and cazuelas). A similar preparation made with a local fish, congrio, is a caldillo, also famous in cultural production thanks to Pablo Neruda’s poem, Oda al caldillo de congrio (Neruda, 1954a). Wrapped food is also another traditional way of preparing several Chilean dishes, such as humita, made with smashed corn and chopped onions, wrapped in big corn leaves. Empanadas are a dough filled out with meat or seafood, or also crab, potatoes, or corn pies. Cooking by layers, including the harder ingredients at the bottom and the softer, at the top, encouraging the mixture of seafood and meats such as lamb, for example, is well represented in the curanto, a typical dish prepared in a hole. Curanto is common in the south of the country. It also implies a collective way of collecting, preparing, and sharing the
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