Potato and how to use it in 5 Chilean traditional dishes

In pies, purée, omelettes, fried and even on salads; this native ingredient of our continent has always been present in the tables of our national territory, as it also happens in our neighbour countries.

Imagen de Chile
Imagen de Chile

With an ancient history, the potato was used by the native people of South America in most of their preparations and traditional dishes. The Spaniards were responsible of introducing it in Europe, where it became extremely popular due to its easy and low cost harvest. The roots of our original cultures merging with European influences is what built the bases of the Chilean cuisine; which includes the potato as one of its main ingredients.

In Chile, there are 11 varieties of potato that are sold locally and internationally; nevertheless we can’t put aside the particular case of the Chiloé Archipelago, where at least it is possible to find 200 varieties of native potatoes.

The Chiloé Archipelago is a whole different world, both geographically and culturally. Embracing unique traditions and an own human and architectural heritage, this island keeps a magic and charm that is also reflected on its cuisine.

Here we have a list of 5 dishes of our cuisine that include this ingredient.

Charquicán

The Chilean preparation par excellence, according to many. The charquican originally included jerky meat, along with potatoes and pumpkin. Nowadays, the jerky has been replaced for meat and other ingredients have been added; such as corn, green beans and even chard in some variations of the recipe.

Imagen de Chile

Imagen de Chile

Cazuela

There is no such day that is not perfect to enjoy a cazuela. This casserole dish, that besides broth has a piece of meat, a slice of pumpkin, corn and a potato; has become the queen of the Chilean kitchens from north to south.

Imagen de Chile

Imagen de Chile

Papas con mote

This recipe belongs to the Mapuche cuisine, and it has also become a classic of the Chilean gastronomy, mainly in the south. With two base ingredients, mote and potatoes sliced in cubes, and some traditional condiments; this preparation is a unique contribution to our gastronomic culture.

Meucy Gana / Instagram

Meucy Gana / Instagram

Milcao

These traditional potato doughs are native from the Chiloé Archipelago and are made of cooked and also raw potatoes. They are usually fried, but they can be prepared in the oven or in steam, in the curanto.

Chapalele

As the milcao, the chapalele also has the potato as the main ingredient, but in this case the root goes cooked and in some occasions with fried pork. It is a must in the preparation of the curanto, where the heat slowly cooks it.

José Luis Tapia / Flickr

José Luis Tapia / Flickr

If you want to know more about the recipes of these preparations, or many others, download the app Recetas de Chile in www.recetasdechile.cl

This post is also available in Spanish