November 20, 2018 #ChileDiverse

The potato and its uses in 5 dishes of our gastronomy

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With a history dating back millennia, the potato was used by the native peoples of South America in most of their traditional preparations and dishes. It was the Spaniards who introduced it to Europe, where it quickly became popular due to its easy and economical cultivation. The roots of our native cultures, in conjunction with the European influence is what formed the basis of Chilean gastronomy, which undoubtedly has the potato as one of its main ingredients.

In Chile there are 11 varieties of potatoes that are marketed locally or internationally; however, we cannot ignore the particular case of the Chiloé Island. Chiloé Islandwhere at least 200 varieties of native potatoes can be counted.

The archipiélago de Chiloé is a world apart both geographically and culturally. Embracing unique traditions and a human and architectural heritage of its own, this island territory holds a magic and charm that we can also see reflected in its gastronomy.

Here are 4 dishes of our gastronomy that include this ingredient:

Charquicán
The Chilean dish par excellence according to many. The charquicán originally had charqui meat, as well as potatoes and squash. Nowadays charqui can be replaced by ground or minced meat, and other ingredients have been added, such as corn, green beans and even chard in some variations.

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Cazuela
There is no day that is not perfect to eat a good casserole. This casserole, which in addition to broth has a piece of meat, pumpkin, corn and the ever-present potato, has become the queen of Chilean tables from north to south.

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Papas con mote
This recipe originating from the Mapuche cuisine has also become a classic in Chilean kitchens, especially in the south. With two basic ingredients, mote and diced potatoes, plus the typical flavors of our seasonings, potatoes with mote are a unique contribution to our cuisine.

Meucy Gana / Instagram

Milcao
These typical doughs from the Chiloé archipelago are made of cooked ground potato plus a portion of grated raw potato. It is typical to eat them fried, but they can also be prepared in the oven or steamed along with curanto.

Chapalele
Like milcao, chapalele has potatoes as its main ingredient, but in this case it is cooked and sometimes accompanied by pork rinds. It is a must in the curantos en hoyo, where it is slowly cooked on nalca leaves.

José Luis Tapia / Flickr

If you want to know more about the preparation of these dishes or others, download the application Recetas de Chile at www.recetasdechile.cl.

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