Seafood

Between northern Cebiche and southern Curanto, fish and seafood delights along the coast.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 Category: Tourism - Food
Frutos Del Mar Ostión (Photo:Revista Placeres)

Preparing and reciting the Ode to Conger Brot, by the Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda becomes a unique ceremony that unites poetry with the kitchen.

The soup is prepared with conger eel, shellfish, onions and potatoes, in addition to the variants that might be contributed through the creativity of the person doing the cooking. There is an abundance of fish and shellfish along Chile’s long coast. Visitors can be tempted by albacore or sea bass sautéed in butter, barbecued swordfish, fried conger eel, sea urchins in green sauce, or a hearty mariscal, where the variety is a true marine exhibition.

The markets in the country’s cities offer diverse fish and seafood dishes and you can also try mussels, razor clams, or traditional clams with lemon. A restorative fish soup tends to be much in request in the early morning. Empanadas, generally filled with pino, can also be filled with shellfish, piures or locos (abalones).

Seaweeds, like chochayuyo, luche, and ulte, are also incorporated into hot dishes and in salads. Across the sea, lobster is the main marine resource of the Juan Fernandez archipelago and its main export product.

That’s Chilean gastronomy: wide-ranging, flavorful and something you won’t want to miss.

Ode to conger chowder
*Pablo Neruda

In the storm-tossed
Chilean
sea
lives the rosy conger,
giant eel
of snowy flesh.

And in Chilean
stewpots,
along the coast,
was born the chowder,
thick and succulent,
a boon to man.

You bring the Conger, skinned,
to the kitchen
(its mottled skin slips off
like a glove,
leaving the
grape of the sea
exposed to the world),
naked,
the tender eel
glistens,
prepared
to serve our appetites.

Now
you take
garlic,
first, caress
that precious
ivory,
smell
its irate fragrance,
then
blend the minced garlic
with onion
and tomato
until the onion
is the color of gold.

Meanwhile
steam
our regal
ocean prawns,
and when
they are
tender,
when the savor is
set in a sauce
combining the liquors
of the ocean
and the clear water
released from the light of the onion,
then
you add the eel
that it may be immersed in glory,
that it may steep in the oils
of the pot,
shrink and be saturated.

Now all that remains is to
drop a dollop of cream
into the concoction,
a heavy rose,
then slowly
deliver
the treasure to the flame,
until in the chowder
are warmed
the essences of Chile,
and to the table
come, newly wed
the savors
of land and sea,
that in this dish
you may know heaven.

(Reproduction for commercial or public uses forbidden. All rights property of the Pablo Neruda Foundation)

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