Chiloé, Ancestral Heritage
The archipelago’s rich diversity and the agricultural techniques kept for hundreds of years have even been acknowledged worldwide: Chiloé was pronounced one of the “World’s Agriculture Heritage of Creative Systems” (SIPAM) by FAO.
The 400 varieties of potato are the main ingredient on the list. Different preparations come from it, such as the chapalele, milcao, and chochoca. Another icon is the garlic from Chiloé, standing out not only for its great size, but also pleasing with its delicate and mild flavor.
Curanto in a hole is the most famous preparation from Chiloé, consisting of a mixture of fresh seafood (mussels, clams, piure, barnacle), sausages, smoke-cooked pork, chicken, chapalele, milcaos, even broad beans and peas. All of these are carefully placed onto hot stones and then covered with large pange or Chilean rhubarb leaves, Flavors are melted into each other, getting smoked and enhancing themselves. It is a social rite we recommend trying among some of various attractions of rural tourism offered by the island. You should also enjoy a good glass of apple chicha.
On your way, you cannot skip Chonchi to try its famous gold liquor and the bread roll from Chonchi, both typical products made only by a few in this locality. Besides, at municipal markets’ diners, you may continue trying the wonders from the sea: sea urchin roe omelette is a must, as well as the traditional cazuela soup from Chiloé, in which the main ingredient is dry mussel. Lamb cazuela soup with luche or seaweed cooked curanto (this is using the steam coming from the curanto’s cooking) also make part of the islander tradition. These traditions may also be appreciated at customary parties carried out over the year which are multiplied over the summertime.
But when it comes to meat, lamb from Chiloé is also an outstanding example to mention. These lambs belong to a unique breed holding a guarantee of origin and quality, validated by the Chilean Economy Department, a government institution calling attention to special products with these characteristics.